Comparison was made of wound healing time in a consecutive series of leprosy and diabetic patients with plantar ulceration. In the leprosy group, 66 of 70 (94%) ulcers healed in a mean time of 42.7 (+/- 36.1) days, and in the diabetic group, 75 of 80 (94%) ulcers healed in a mean time of 39.7 (+/- 32.1) days. Analysis of all healed ulcers using a general linear model found wound depth (p < 0.03), and wound diameter (p < 0.05) significantly related to ulcer healing time. Diagnosis, healing devices (cast, splint and cut-out sandal), age and sex were not significant. In diabetic subjects a regression model including depth, diameter and age explained 36% of the variation in healing time. A meaningful regression model was not found in leprosy patients.