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Difference between Diabetic Ulcer and Pressure Ulcer

Difference between Diabetic Ulcer and Pressure Ulcer

When it comes to attention from medical professionals, diabetic ulcers and pressure ulcers have a lot in common. They’re both serious wounds that require specialized care and treatment. But, when we look closer, there are some distinct differences between the two that make each important for healers to be vigilant about. In this blog post, we will uncover those distinctions and understand why recognizing the difference is essential to providing proper healing treatments for your patients suffering from either one of these issues.

What is a Diabetic Ulcer?

Diabetic ulcers are open sore or wound that can develop on the feet or legs of individuals with diabetes. Diabetics often experience poor circulation and nerve damage in their lower extremities, making them particularly susceptible to slow-healing wounds. Diabetic Ulcers lead to excruciating pain, increased risk of infection, and difficulty walking due to instability, therefore it is extremely important for those with diabetes to take care of their feet and check potentially dangerous sores early. With prompt treatment and proper management, people who live with diabetes can reduce the risks associated with Diabetic Ulcers.

What is a Pressure Ulcer?

Pressure Ulcers, also known as bedsores or decubitus ulcers, are localized areas of tissue damage that can easily occur on the skin and underlying tissue due to constant pressure from remaining in the same position.

  • Pressure Ulcers are most often found on bony prominences such as the heel, sacrum, hip, and shoulder blades. Pressure Ulcers decrease a person’s quality of life and can have serious health implications if left untreated.
  • It is important to identify Pressure Ulcers early in order to take immediate preventative measures and give an individual the best chance at improved outcomes.
  • Pressure Ulcer prevention plans include monitoring skin integrity, re-positioning an individual every 2 hours or when lying in one position for too long, and encouraging movement whenever possible.

Difference between Diabetic Ulcer and Pressure Ulcer

Diabetic Ulcers and Pressure Ulcers are two types of wounds that can occur on the skin.

  • Diabetic ulcers typically occur on the feet of individuals with diabetes and are a result of poor circulation and nerve damage.
  • They appear as open sores and will often go unnoticed due to a lack of sensation.
  • Pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, are caused by staying in one position for too long which restricts blood flow to certain areas of the body.
  • Unlike diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers can arise almost anywhere including ankles, heels, elbows, or head and neck area.

Regardless of what type of wound is present, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs such as redness, drainage, or a foul odor so they can be properly & timely treated.


Both diabetic ulcers and pressure ulcers are serious wounds that can occur in people with diabetes. Diabetic ulcers usually occur on the feet, while pressure ulcers typically form on bony areas of the body, such as the heels or hips. While both types of ulcers share some common risk factors, there are also several key differences between them. Treatment for both diabetic and pressure ulcers often includes wound care, infection prevention, and pain management. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to treat either type of ulcer. With proper treatment and self-care measures, most Ulcer patients can heal their wounds and avoid complications. If you have any concerns about an open sore on your body, contact your healthcare provider for guidance on how to best treat it.

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