Disinfect to Protect
People who suffer from diabetes are at a very high risk of receiving foot ulcers. This is because some people who suffer from diabetes also suffer from peripheral neuropathy and other conditions that cause a lack of sensation in the feet. This lack of sensation makes it so it is hard for a diabetic patient to feel pain and other injuries occur on their feet. If you do not have diabetes, you can still receive an ulcer on your foot, but it is more likely to be found immediately due to the ability to clearly feel the injury and pain. If you do find an ulcer on your feet it is important that you make an appointment to see a podiatrist immediately. A podiatrist will clean and disinfect the ulcer so that an infection does not appear and spread. Wondering how they might do it? Here are the basic steps a podiatrist may take to clean your ulcer and protect it from further harm.
- Your podiatrist will find the ulcer.
- Next, your podiatrist will measure your ulcer. They want to know how large it is and will continue to measure it to be sure it is not growing in size.
- Clean your feet. Your podiatrist will clean out the ulcer in their office. They will take disinfectant and gently wash out the ulcer. In order to keep it clean, you may have to soak your feet at home in between appointments. This allows them to be cleaned out and helps speed up the healing process.
- A podiatrist will then apply a healing ointment to help the ulcer heal.
- After the ointment is applied, a podiatrist or his assistant will put on gauze or another type of dressing to cover up the ulcer so dirt, debris, and other bacteria cannot reach the ulcer.
- The gauze will be adhered to the foot with silk tape or medical tape. If the gauze moves around it can irritate the ulcer or allow for bacteria to enter the wound.
- In between appointments be sure to change your dressing or bandage multiple times a day. If the ulcer is stuck in the same bandaging or dressing, it will fester due to the bacteria that is built up and rubbing it.
- Use a sock to slip over the bandaging or dressing. This secures the dressing and makes sure it does not come loose.
If you find an ulcer on your foot, you should see a podiatrist right away. While it is proactive to clean the ulcer, it is imperative that it is seen by a medical professional to be sure there is no underlying cause or infection that could cause greater damage. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. When it comes to wound care, we are the best.