Anyone with slow-healing wounds or ulcers on their feet should visit a podiatrist as soon as possible. Left untreated, infections and ulcerations can negatively impact mobility and even require amputation. At Foot & Ankle Specialty Center in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, the board-certified podiatrists regularly diagnose and treat foot ulcers. Call the office or use the online booking tool to request your appointment today.
Infections and ulcerations occur for a variety of reasons and affect people of all backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities. However, there are certain diagnoses that increase your risk. These include:
Inflammatory conditions like lupus, vasculitis, and scleroderma also increase your risk. If you’re living with these or other similar conditions, it’s important to get your feet checked.
The three most common types of leg and foot ulcers are:
Venous stasis ulcers affect 500,000-600,000 Americans every year. Venous stasis ulcers are red and typically develop below the knee on the inside of your leg.
People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from nerve damage and peripheral artery disease. Over time, these factors increase your risk of calluses, cracks, and open wounds. Neurotrophic ulcers develop on the bottom of your feet, near pressure points.
Ischemic ulcers occur due to poor circulation. They develop on your toes and heels and are incredibly painful. Ischemic ulcers are usually black, brown, or gray.
There’s no way to prevent infections and ulcerations entirely, but there’s plenty you can do to lower your risk.
For example, if you have diabetes or another disease that puts you at risk, you’ll want to inspect your feet daily. Set aside five minutes each morning to look at your feet and toes. If you notice cracks or calluses, apply an ointment for protection.
The expert team at Foot & Ankle Specialty Center also recommends you wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes with absorbent socks. If your feet and toes are adequately padded, they’re less likely to experience a cut or blister.
Finally, make sure to wash your feet and toes every day. Use a mild, nonallergenic soap and warm water. After your feet are dry, apply a lotion to any cracks or rough areas.
If you have healthy circulation, the team treats your infection with a procedure called debridement. During debridement, your provider trims away any diseased, infected tissue and calloused skin.
After finishing the debridement, your provider cleans and wraps your wound with a dressing. If you’re at risk of infection, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic.
If you have poor circulation, a more invasive treatment like podiatric surgery may be necessary.
Don’t let infections and ulcerations negatively impact your quality of life. Call Foot & Ankle Specialty Center to schedule an exam today, or book one online.