Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

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Expected Duration

How long a foot ulcer lasts depends on:

  • The depth of the ulcer

  • Whether there is enough blood circulation to supply oxygen and nutrients

  • Whether the ulcer can be protected from rubbing or pressure

  • Whether the ulcer is infected

In people who have good circulation and good medical care, an ulcer sometimes can heal in as few as three to six weeks. Deeper ulcers may take 12 to 20 weeks. They sometimes require surgery.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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