Foot wounds are a serious concern, especially for people with diabetes who are at an increased risk of infection. If a foot wound becomes infected, it can lead to serious complications, including amputation. To prevent these complications, you should seek treatment from an experienced wound care podiatrist at the first sign of a problem. A podiatrist can determine a treatment plan and prescribe antibiotics to treat a foot wound that has become infected. Antibiotics for foot wounds

Using Antibiotics to Treat an Infected Foot Wound

Since diabetes can cause a loss of sensation in the feet, a foot injury can go undetected. If a foot wound does not heal properly or is left untreated, it can become infected. An infection may cause symptoms such as pain, redness around the area of the wound, warmth or heat, swelling, pus, tenderness, or a foul odor. An infection can also make it difficult to walk. If the infection can’t be controlled and it spreads to surrounding tissue or bone, the patient may develop gangrene and need the foot to be amputated.

To prevent a foot wound from becoming infected, a podiatrist needs to treat it in its earliest stages to help ensure proper healing. Because an infected diabetic foot wound can be slow or difficult to heal, an antibiotic may be needed to fight the infection and prevent it from spreading. The antibiotic prescribed by your podiatrist depends on the severity of the infection and how far it has progressed.

Antibiotics can be taken orally, used topically, or administered intravenously. Your podiatrist will determine the type of antibiotic that’s best for your specific needs. Oral antibiotics such as amoxicillin-clavulanate, cephalexin, or cloxacillin may be recommended to treat mild infections. Antibiotics such as ertapenem or metronidazole may be prescribed for moderate or serious infections. More severe infections may require intravenous antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin-clindamycin or piperacillin-tazobactam. Hospitalization may be needed for the administration of intravenous antibiotics.

Antibiotic Side Effects and Medication Tips

No medication comes without risks. Before taking an antibiotic, your doctor may warn you of possible side effects associated with the drug. Some side effects that can occur when taking antibiotics may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea

If side effects become severe, they can cause dehydration or other serious issues. If you develop a fever or an allergic reaction, contact your doctor immediately, or visit your nearest emergency room.

Since antibiotics can interact with other medications, you must tell your podiatrist what medications you are taking. Certain medication interactions can make the side effects worse or cause serious reactions.

It is important to take all medications exactly as prescribed by your podiatrist. Your doctor will provide instructions on how long to take the medicine and whether or not it needs to be taken with food. You may need to avoid taking certain supplements if they interfere with the antibiotic. Your podiatrist may monitor the wound to ensure the prescribed antibiotic is working.

Help Prevent a Diabetic Foot Wound Infection

  • Keep blood sugar levels under control
  • Avoid walking barefoot, and always wear socks
  • Keep a foot wound clean and covered until you can seek medical attention from a podiatrist
  • See a podiatrist at the first sign of a foot wound before it becomes more serious

Contact Our Foot Wound Podiatrists

If you have a foot wound that is not healing properly, don’t wait another day when you can contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for a consultation. We can discuss treatment options based on your specific needs, including antibiotics. To request an appointment, contact our Grapevine or Keller office by filling out our convenient contact form or by calling our office at 817-481-4000.