Diabetic ulcers are chronic, complex, or problem wounds of the legs and feet in people with diabetes.
Diabetic ulcers that fail to heal in three months are usually considered chronic.
Some take years to heal or never do.
Diabetic ulcers require a healthy, oxygenated wound bed to heal.
A lack of sufficient oxygen (hypoxia) in the wound bed slows or stops the normal healing process.
Wound healing in people with diabetes is often complicated by poor blood circulation in the feet and legs.
Nerve disease (neuropathy) may also cause a loss of sensation in the feet and legs, so even a small cut, sore, or pressure ulcer may go unnoticed for some time and develop into a problem wound.
Diabetic ulcers are especially prone to serious bacterial infections that threaten life and limb.