Does Your Foot Wound Need a Podiatrist?
So you’ve managed to get a wound on your foot. Hey, it happens to all of us. A stubbed toe, a blister from your new shoes, even an over-scratched mosquito bite can end up as a wound.
What types of wounds need the care of a podiatrist? You don’t necessarily need to see a doctor for every scratch on your feet. But depending on the wound, and the foot, there are times to consult your podiatrist for help with treatment and healing.
Infected Foot Wounds
If you have any type of foot wound that shows signs of infection, it’s time to call the podiatrist. A wound or injury doesn’t have to be large to become infected. Even the smallest crack or scrape can let in germs.
During normal foot care, you should pay attention to the skin on your feet and check it for cracks, blisters, and other small wounds. Keep an eye on those areas and make sure they’re healing.
Signs of infection include warmth and tenderness at or around the area, change in skin color, swelling, drainage, odor, pain, dryness or skin breaks, slow healing, and fever. Any one of these warrants a call to your podiatrist.
Slow to Heal Foot Wounds
Some wounds don’t heal as quickly as they should. This are sometimes called chronic wounds. A chronic wound on your foot needs the attention of a podiatrist.
Chronic wounds can result from burns, pressure, or any trauma to the skin. They can be surgical wounds or result from an infection. Factors like age, smoking, diabetes, poor diet, and certain medicines can make you more likely to end up with a wound that won’t heal.
Slow to heal wounds need special treatment so they don’t progress and lead to serious, systemic complications.
Painful Foot Wounds
The term wound is not always synonymous with pain. A minor scratch or scrape is still a wound, even if it doesn’t hurt. Other wounds are painful from the outset.
Any foot wound that causes pain will benefit from treatment from a podiatrist. A cut or other injury that’s serious enough to be painful is also at risk for infection and other complications.
A wound that begins small and becomes painful may be infected or chronic. Pain may be the first sign of a forming wound like an ingrown toenail. Pain is your body telling you to get some help.
Diabetes and Foot Wounds
People with diabetes are prone to foot ulcers that can become very serious and lead to amputation. Proper diabetic foot care can help prevent these dangerous wounds.
Diabetic foot ulcers are open wounds, usually on the bottom of the foot. They tend to drain and are very susceptible to infection.
A diabetic foot ulcer is a complicated wound, with a variety of causes. If you have diabetes you may lose some of the feeling in your feet, making it less likely that you’ll notice pressure, friction, or the pain of a developing ulcer.
Anyone with diabetes that develops a wound on their foot should see a podiatrist.