7 Signs You Should See a Doctor About Your Wound

 7 Signs You Should See a Doctor About Your Wound

Your feet are an essential part of the body, so it's hard to get things done when you suffer an injury or have a painful wound. People who have diabetes are at a higher risk for foot wounds, but anyone can have a cut or laceration on their feet that becomes infected.

Many foot wounds don't warrant professional treatment – but how do you know if you need skilled care? Several signs and symptoms trigger the need for a doctor's care.

Dr. Jefferey E. McAlister and Dr. Marta Rinker provide expert wound care at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute. If you need more clarification on whether you need specialized care, our team evaluates the wound and provides various treatment options.

What causes foot wounds?

Foot wounds happen for many reasons – from injuries to diabetic ulcers; these wounds are sometimes challenging to deal with. Puncture wounds and lacerations often occur when walking barefoot, while foot and toe ulcers are due to nerve damage and poor circulation.

Knowing what caused your foot wound helps you see if you need treatment or can care for the problem independently. Common reasons you may experience a wound on your foot include:

Diabetes is one of the primary medical conditions that leads to slow-healing wounds and nerve damage. People living with diabetes don't always know they have foot wounds due to nerve damage and loss of sensation, and the wounds don't heal due to poor circulation.

Seven signs to get wound treatment

People who don't have diabetes may be able to treat mild-to-moderate wounds at home on their own. Treatment often involves cleaning the wound daily, keeping it dry, and applying antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.

Most mild foot wounds heal on their own within a few weeks, but that's not always the case. Several signs should make it evident that you need treatment, and they include:

1. Severe pain and swelling

Pain that you're unable to tolerate and severe swelling are usually signs of a more significant issue in the wound. Whether the pain and swelling happen after an injury or develop in a chronic diabetic wound, they're both signs you need expert care and treatment.

2. A wound that's oozing pus

Some drainage is normal with foot wounds, but it shouldn't be discolored or cloudy. Pus draining from the wound signals an infection that requires immediate treatment to prevent serious complications.

3. Signs of an infection

Pus and excess drainage are only two signs of an infection. If you notice the wound is discolored, or if you're experiencing fever or chills, it's time to call for an appointment. We may need to prescribe topical and oral antibiotics to clear the wound infection so it can heal.

4. Can't put weight on the foot

If the wound is in an area that affects how you walk, or if you can't put weight on your foot, it's essential to seek treatment. Putting weight on the wound may prevent it from healing properly, which is where our expert treatments come in.

5. Warmth or redness

A wound with new warmth around the skin or increased redness is a problem. It could signal an infection or another issue with the skin or foot, which warrants a closer look from our team.

6. Slow-healing wounds

People who have diabetes often have nerve damage and circulation problems, which cause slow-healing wounds. If your foot wound doesn't seem to get better after a few weeks, it's essential to seek professional care.

7. Foul smell from the wound

A foul smell from the foot wound often signals bacteria in the skin. An overgrowth of bacteria can lead to a severe infection of the foot. Seeking care before you notice a foul smell is the best idea, especially if you notice redness or warmth around the site.

Our team carefully evaluates the foot wound to determine the best treatment route for your needs.

Call Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute at 602-761-7819 to schedule a consultation, or use our online booking tool to request an appointment for wound care.

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