What Can I Do About an Open Sore on the Foot That Won't Heal?

6 answers | Last updated: May 04, 2015
A fellow caregiver asked...

What can I do about an open sore on the foot that won't heal?

Expert Answers

Jane Andersen, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist in private practice in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She provides surgical and nonsurgical foot and ankle care to all types of patients, including the geriatric population in her area. With the American Podiatric Medical Association, she has worked to educate the public on foot and ankle health.

A foot that has an open sore that isn't healing should be evaluated by a podiatrist or other physician for diagnosis and treatment. If the wound has been present for a while, it needs medical care both in order to avoid infection and in order to see what the underlying cause might be.

Some people tend to ignore these wounds, figuring they'll eventually clear up. But an open foot sore that won't heal can be a sign of diabetes, poor circulation, or infection, which are all common conditions among older adults. And they're not likely to go away -- in fact, the problem is likely to get worse.

Both diabetics and people with undiagnosed diabetes, for example, often develop sores because they lose a degree of feeling in their feet. So they don't notice when an ill-fitting shoe rubs against their foot or ankle, or when they step on a pebble or scrape their instep. They also may not notice when a callus builds up and breaks down the skin underneath (one of the more common causes of a foot wound, known as a pedal ulcer).

Figuring out the cause for persistent foot problems is important. In the case of diabetes, the person needs regular, ongoing foot care by a podiatrist or other physician to avoid further infections.

Community Answers

Djcarltnt answered...

this is very helpful i'm going to a doctor this week.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I know some dr.'s (old) are using sugar to cure the wounds in diabetic (or other situations) people when nothing else is helping. Maybe they can try that.

Long-suffering soul answered...

So what do you do when you have been seeing a podiatrist for 14 months and the open sore, the size of the end of my pinkie finger, still will not close? What is the average time for these open wounds, starting from an ulcerated corn, to close?

Suzyboss answered...

I am diabetic, but did not have problems with my foot until bitten by something, spider, etc and itching one night, I ripped three small toenails off while sleeping. Two of the nails finally healed. I went to dr. and he saw no infection(bunk) but the third nail I kept tearing off. Scabs around end of toe kept itching and I kept scratching. Finally bitemark on top of foot healed. It has been a year now with no imporvement, sometimes worse. Getting desperate I started taking vitamens, still no healing. Then I started putting vicks vapo rub on the affected toes and four days later, 70% healing. Waiting for nail to grow back and foot is not itching as much. I am convinced the Vick's has made it possible for sores and nails to start healing.

Cookie6911 answered...

Try using Miracle Foot Repair Cream it works for me! It contains Aloe. I bought it in Bed & Bath. Good luck