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Wound Care—Patching the Potholes in Your Feet

No one likes potholes, and the Metairie and New Orleans areas certainly have some spectacular ones. Back in February, a New Orleans artist even made an entire gallery show featuring them! Potholes are both inconvenient and possibly destructive if you aren’t paying attention. Diabetic foot ulcers have similar characteristics. They get worse with time and can create a lot of damage. Like patching a road, you need wound care that “fills in” the ulcer and helps you heal. Treating a diabetic ulcer takes time, but it’s better than the alternative—risking an infection that could require amputation.

Diabetic ulcers can develop quickly on your feet from small cuts, blisters, or other breaks in the skin. The pressure of your weight from standing and walking around causes the little injury to deteriorate. You’ll need medical care as soon as you notice a wound developing. The first step in treating a foot ulcer is to  immediately remove all weight from the affected foot, say our expert podiatrists at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC. Since pressure contributed to the breakdown, removing the weight allows the tissues to begin healing without further aggravation.

Then the wound will have to be cleaned and disinfected. In some cases, this can involve what’s called debridement. We will carefully cut away and remove the damaged and possibly infected tissue so it doesn’t fester. Once the ulcer is clean, it will be appropriately bandaged. We will pack it with medicine to encourage healing, then carefully cover it to prevent infection.

Just remember, you won’t be able to put weight back on your foot until the sore is completely healed—otherwise the pressure could reverse all the wound care. The dressing on the ulcer will also have to be changed regularly to apply more medication and prevent infections. You might need additional treatment to improve circulation to your lower limbs, too, since you need the nutrients and oxygen in your blood to completely heal the wound.

Treating a diabetic ulcer is a lot of work, but saving your foot is always worth the effort. If you’re concerned you might have even the beginnings of a diabetic wound, don’t wait to seek help. Let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC treat your feet. Call (504) 708-4810 to make an appointment today.

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