Foot wounds are common in people with health conditions like diabetes or circulatory problems. They can be incredibly painful and hard to heal, especially if you have poor blood flow, and they can quickly turn into foot ulcers if they are not treated properly. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to alleviate symptoms, aid the recovery process and reduce further problems later down the line.
What causes them?
Aside from being caused by injuries and puncture wounds, foot sores are often found in people with peripheral neuropathy, which is a type of nerve damage that can be triggered by diabetes. If you have diabetes, wounds can develop in your feet from doing everyday activities, such as wearing ill-fitting shoes. You may also suffer from nerve damage that prevents you from feeling your feet and you may not notice when you are hurt. People who have poor blood circulation can also be more prone to foot injury and cuts on the feet are often a lot more difficult to heal.
What are the symptoms?
Foot wounds are normally quite painful. However, symptoms will depend on where the affected area is and how severe the damage is. Lesions and cuts can appear anywhere on the foot and usually look like a red hole, which may be surrounded by thick, dry skin. If the wound is left untreated, it can become more serious – even a superficial graze can develop into something much bigger and pose a serious health risk.
What are the treatments?
There are a number of home remedies that can help treat a foot wound if it is minor. For example, you should take care to properly clean and dress the affected spot by using a sterile bandage, as this can reduce the risk of infection. The wound should be covered with fresh dressings and cleaned everyday. If you are unsure about how to clean and bandage yourself, your GP or practice nurse will be able to show you. Antibiotic ointment or cream, prescribed by your doctor, and over the counter painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen can also be used to relieve discomfort and speed up your recovery.
It is also important to try to keep weight off your foot to allow it to heal properly, and make sure you always wear padded and well-fitting shoes. To reduce the risk of developing sores in the future, keep your feet healthy and clean and check them regularly for broken skin. You should also wash and dry your feet thoroughly every day and moisturise them to prevent the skin from cracking. It can also help to elevate your legs when you are sitting or lying down.
Stopping smoking can also help, as cigarettes can have a detrimental effect on the circulatory system and make wounds harder to heal.
When should I see a doctor?
If the wound is the result of a surgical procedure or if you’ve suffered a serious injury, your doctor may be able to prescribe medication to help it heal. Likewise, if you are treating a minor lesion at home and it does not heal, it grows warm, red and inflamed or there is uncontrollable bleeding or seeping discharge, you need to seek medical help immediately. If your foot is very painful or making everyday routines difficult to carry out, this could be a sign of infection and also suggests you may need medical assistance.
If you are a diabetic, it is especially important to take care of your feet and any wounds should be treated straight away by a doctor. It is better to seek professional medical help rather than try to treat it at home, even if it is just a small wound. Your doctor will be able to run tests to see if you have problems with your blood flow or nerve damage. If you don’t have any of these issues, you will be able to use normal wound treatments. However, if they find that you have an underlying medical problem, more specialised interventions may be recommended to improve your blood circulation.
How can our products help?
All of our adjustable beds and riser recliner chairs include our unique NHC Cyclo-Therapy massage system, which has been medically proven to help with a wide variety of medical problems. Using a three-way, pulsating technique, the massage technology works to improve blood circulation and can speed up the healing process for a range of wounds.
Our electrical beds and chairs can also be adjusted into a number of different positions to take pressure off your feet and elevate your legs while you rest, which can help to reduce the symptoms associated with foot injuries.
To find out more, you can download our medical information guide or get in touch today. We’re available to offer you further information on our products and respond to any questions you may have.