No matter how careful you try to be as you go through life, minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, and sometimes even more serious wounds do happen. When the injury occurs on your toes, feet, ankles, or legs, it can be especially painful and hard to heal. That’s why proper care and treatment for a foot wound from the very moment it occurs is very important to ensure proper healing.
As a podiatrist with The Medical Group of South Florida, Dr. Ariel Lepoff is here to help you with the wound care of your legs and feet.
First aid tips for proper wound care
First and foremost, before treating any kind of wound or burn, wash your hands. In addition, wear disposable protective gloves, if possible.
Next, follow these 6 tips to avoid infection and promote healing.
1. Clean wounds right away
For a clean-cut or scrape, the first thing to do is clean the wound with sterile saline and antibacterial soap. If the wound is dirty after this step, then irrigate the wound using a 1 percent povidone-iodine solution. Mix one-part 10 percent povidone-iodine to 10 parts water. Pat the wound dry with gauze and hold light pressure if necessary.
2. Apply antibiotic cream
Antibiotic creams and ointments can also reduce the risk of infections. Apply a thin layer on the wound, but if a rash develops, discontinue use.
3. Cover with a bandage
An uncovered cut or scrape is at risk of reopening or developing an infection. What often works best is to cover the wound with gauze, then wrap a fabric bandage over and around the foot or leg to prevent bacteria from coming in contact with the wound. Change the bandage daily.
4. Healing begins almost immediately
Almost as soon as you sustain a wound injury, your body begins the healing process. Platelets, red blood cells, and fibrin create a clot over the wound forming a protective scab.
5. Look for signs of infection
If redness spreads out from the injury site, if there is swelling, if green or yellow fluid is emerging from the wound, or if the area around the wound is warm or tender, you may have an infection. Other signs include body aches, chills, fever and/or swollen lymph nodes. If you have any of these symptoms, promptly seek medical attention.
6. See a doctor right away if your wound:
- won’t stop bleeding after 5-10 minutes of pressure
- was due to a puncture wound (You may need a tetanus shot booster if you haven’t received one in the last five to ten years)
- is very painful
- is very deep and may need stitches
- shows signs of infection
- was caused by an animal or human bite
- if you have poor circulation or neuropathy
- if you have diabetes mellitus
First aid tools everyone should have
Since you never know when you or something around you will sustain a minor or major injury, it’s a good idea to keep these first aid items handy:
- sterile gloves
- antibacterial soap
- antiseptic such as iodine
- pain relievers
- gauze and tape
- antibiotic cream
- antihistamines for allergic reactions
If you’ve been injured and are concerned about the wound
If you’ve sustained a cut, scrape or something more serious and want to know if it’s healing correctly, or have any concerns about your legs or feet, please call (561) 622-611 and make an appointment to come see Dr. Ariel Lepoff at The Medical Group of South Florida.
Dr. Lepoff will examine the wound, evaluate the overall condition of your legs and feet, and together with you, determine the best course of treatment to bring about proper healing. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.