patient with a foot ulcer or woundThe terms wound and ulcer are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences between the two. Both are breaks in the skin, but a foot wound is damaged skin and tissue that develops due to external trauma such as a cut or an abrasion, while a foot ulcer may start as a wound but grow deeper into the foot and fail to heal. Usually, a foot wound heals on its own.

Although a foot wound may look like an ulcer, an ulcer is usually a sign of a more serious condition. It is important to seek the help of an experienced Tarrant County foot specialist at the first sign of a problem, so it does not result in serious complications. 

Common Causes and Signs of Foot Wounds and Foot Ulcers

Wounds are caused by an external force such as an accident, cut, laceration, surgery, or a puncture in the skin.

Signs You May Have a Foot Wound

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Redness and bruising

A wound can turn into a skin ulcer if it does not heal or respond to treatment. Skin ulcers can occur on any part of the body but are most common on the feet, legs, and ankles. Wounds occur suddenly due to a direct injury, but ulcers form gradually over time as the skin breaks down.

Additionally, diabetes is a common cause of foot ulcers, as well as poor circulation, nerve damage, and inflammatory diseases.

Signs You May Have a Foot Ulcer

  • Open wound that does not heal
  • Pain and/or tenderness near the ulcer
  • Warm/hot skin that changes color
  • Swelling
  • Visible blood or drainage on your socks
  • Foul odor

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

If you notice an open wound or sore on your foot, it is important to consult with our Tarrant County foot specialist as soon as possible. If a wound does not heal or an ulcer is slow to heal and becomes infected, it can turn into a serious problem. Seeking immediate treatment can often prevent more serious complications. If a wound or an ulcer becomes infected, the infection can spread to surrounding tissue and bone. If the infection cannot be stopped, amputation is often needed to save a person’s life.

The type of treatment used for a foot ulcer or wound depends on its severity and location. Once our foot specialist diagnoses the problem, a treatment plan can be recommended based on your specific needs. Who knows, it may even be treated with a skin substitute.

Contact Our Tarrant County Foot Specialist for an Evaluation

If you have a foot wound or foot ulcer, reach out to our foot specialist in Tarrant County for a consultation today. To request an appointment, contact our Grapevine or Keller office by filling out our convenient online contact form or by calling our office at 817-481-4000.