Foot wounds or ulcers are common among people with diabetes. These wounds can lead to severe complications, including infection and amputation if left untreated. Understanding the different signs that indicate you may have a foot wound is important for seeking treatment before the wound becomes a more serious problem.
Common Signs of a Foot Wound
A foot wound is an ulcer or sore that can develop on any part of the foot. They can appear in a variety of shapes and sizes and are most common on the sides and bottoms of the feet where there is more pressure. A foot wound can be caused by an injury or trauma or as a result of a condition such as diabetes that prevents a sore from healing correctly.
How to Know if You Have a Foot Wound
- Pain. Certain areas of the feet may be tender to the touch or be painful when walking or standing. This can be a sign of a possible foot ulcer or infection.
- Discharge or drainage. You may see drainage or discharge seeping on your socks or inside your shoes from a wound on your foot. This may be one of the earliest signs and is not always accompanied by pain.
- Swelling. Not only can you experience pain from a foot wound, you may also have swelling on areas of your foot due to infection.
- Skin discoloration. One of the most noticeable signs of a foot wound is redness or discoloration around the ulcer. Different colors can be signs of specific problems. For example, if a wound turns red, it can indicate that it has become infected. If it turns black or other shades, it can mean that the tissue is dying and gangrene has developed.
- Foul odor. You may notice that the wound is omitting a foul odor. This can mean a severe infection has developed.
- Changes in the skin. Foot wounds can cause the skin to become dry and scaly. A wound can also cause skin rashes, cracks, calluses, burning, or itching.
Detecting and Treating Foot Wounds in the Early Stages
It is essential to seek immediate medical treatment at the first sign of a foot wound. This is extremely important for those with diabetes since this condition can cause a foot wound to heal slowly or not at all. A foot wound can become a skin ulcer if not treated in its earliest stages. Not only should people with diabetes contact their podiatrist immediately after finding a foot wound, but anyone with a sign of a problem should also.
Complications Due to an Untreated Foot Wound
- Infection that can spread to surrounding tissue or the bone
- Blood infection
- Amputation of the affected foot or toe
Possible Treatment for a Foot Wound
- Applying topical antibiotic ointment or taking oral antibiotics to prevent or treat infection
- Taking pressure off the foot while the wound heals
- Cleaning the wound daily with mild soap and warm water
- Keeping the wound covered with a loose dressing or bandage
- Wearing custom orthotics or specialty shoes
- Debriding the wound to remove dead or infected tissue to promote healing
Contact a Keller Foot Wound Podiatrist
If you have signs of a foot wound, it may be time to see a Keller foot wound podiatrist. Contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for a consultation today. We can answer your questions and create a custom treatment plan based on your specific needs. Contact our Grapevine or Keller office to request an appointment by filling out our convenient, online contact form or calling our office at 817-481-4000.