A foot ulcer is commonly known as “diabetic foot” and as its name suggests, it’s a frequent condition among diabetic patients. It is a wound on the foot that heals slowly and generally forms on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the big toe. Serious conditions can develop from an infected wound that is left untreated, including poor circulation, nerve damage, and in extreme cases risk of limb amputation. Diabetic foot ulcers can be classified into 4 groups. A wound that does not show signs of an infection is called uninfected. When the area around the wound has turned red, is warm to the touch, painful, or slightly swollen, this is known as a mild infection. If the infection involves deeper layers of skin down into the muscle, tendons, bone or joints, then a moderate infection is likely. A high body temperature or fever, accompanied with heavy breathing or a fast heartbeat can cause sepsis making this a severe infection. If you are a diabetic patient and notice a wound on your foot, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist regularly who can offer you proper wound care treatment.
Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What Is Wound Care?
Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic.
What Is the Importance of Wound Care?
While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.
How to Care for Wounds
The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Allentown, Easton, Northampton, and Chew Street in Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.