You can’t always prevent accidents and the injuries that result. They tend to be sudden, unexpected, and unpredictable—otherwise, they wouldn’t be accidents. They don’t have to be big or dramatic to cause damage to your lower limbs, either. Some of the smaller injuries, like wounds, can still create serious health issues. That is why investing in wound care is so important for your feet.
What Are Foot Wounds?
Wounds are open sores or other injuries that break the skin and cause damage. They can be small and surface-level, or deep and dangerous. They can also be caused by several different injuries or diseases. Diabetic ulcers are among the most common foot wounds, but they are not the only kind. Circulatory issues from peripheral arterial disease and similar conditions, as well as puncture wounds, can also cause trouble for your lower limbs.
These slow-healing sores can actually become life-threatening if they aren’t treated. The opening in the skin allows dangerous bacteria to enter the body. If your wound resulted from a condition that harms the immune system, then you are even more vulnerable to these infections. Wound care works to both heal the sore as well as address the underlying cause to prevent the problem in the future.
Developing an Open Sore
Puncture wounds develop when you step on something sharp that breaks the skin and pushes through the soft tissues into your foot. It is not the same thing as a cut. Typically this is a small, round hole rather than a long tear, though cuts can also deteriorate and increase your risk for infections. Beyond being painful, an object puncturing your foot can push bacteria and debris into the wound.
Diabetic wounds develop from neuropathy complications. Neuropathy damages your nerves, so you’re not able to feel changes or small injuries in your feet or ankles. You may have a cut, blister, or other tiny injury on a foot and never notice the problem. You’re more likely to continue walking on the damage without treating it, allowing it to worsen. The disease also impairs your immune system, so your body doesn’t heal from injuries quite as easily. Those small injuries then have time to deteriorate and become serious. Together, these issues create ulcers.
Circulatory conditions also impair your immune system and weaken the skin, so you become more prone to blisters or other small injuries. Because your body struggles to heal them, these little problems can then breakdown further. Other conditions that weaken your immune response or compromise your skin, like infections, are less common sources of wounds, but may be culprits. However, no matter the source of the problem, to prevent further damage you need proper wound care.
Caring for Wounds
If you do develop an open sore, you’ll need to treat it immediately to prevent infections. Dr. Noah Levine will carefully examine the damage and determine how extensive the problem has already become. Thenwe will treat the lesion to allow it to heal.
The open spot will need to be cleaned and disinfected. For festering diabetic ulcers, this may include cutting away dead tissue. Any foreign objects in the hole will have to be removed, too. The spot is then washed and treated with topical medications. Afterwards the sore is covered in a bandage to protect it and encourage healing.
You’ll need to avoid putting weight on the affected foot so the tissues aren’t aggravated further. This may mean spending time in a cast or special boot to remove pressure from the foot. Your bandages will have to be changed regularly, too, and you may need medication to combat infections. The healing process may take several weeks, depending on the severity of your condition.
Wound care is important for restoring feet that have suffered some serious damage. Sometimes the right intervention can make the difference between getting back on your feet and having the limb amputated because of an infection. Don’t wait to have open sores or injuries examined. Contact our team at Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas for an appointment today by calling (702) 839-2010.