You stub your toe or clip your toenail a little too short. You step on a sharp rock or trip over something when you’re barefoot. You can injure your feet and toes in any number of ways.

The question is: What should you do next? You probably can’t stay off your feet as the wound heals. And you probably don’t need to.

That said, you should monitor the injury, because at certain times you should seek professional care. Whenever your foot or toe needs attention, Samantha Childers, DPM; Ricky Childers, DPM; and our team at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle in Roanoke and Decatur, Texas, are here to help.

Caring for your wound

To help your foot or toe heal, it’s important to keep the area clean and dry.

When you first notice the wound, give it some at-home care. Wash your hands, then rinse the wound with water. Dry it carefully and apply an antibiotic ointment. Cover it with a bandage that you change daily.

As the wound heals, choose breathable shoes. If you tend to have sweaty feet, opt for open-toed shoes, or change your socks as needed to keep your feet dry.

Then, monitor the wound, checking it daily for signs that you should come see our team.

If the wound doesn’t improve in a couple of weeks

Your body has impressive healing capacity. If you’re generally healthy, you can wait to see if the injury improves with at-home care.

Keep an eye on your wound and monitor any changes. They should all be in the direction of improvement. Any swelling should go down within a few days, for example. Any associated pain should gradually improve day by day.

If you watch your wound and it doesn’t seem to be getting better after a couple of weeks, it’s time to make an appointment with us.

If it spreads or otherwise worsens

As you monitor your toe or foot wound, look carefully for indicators that it’s getting worse.

Specifically, watch for:

  • The wound growing in size
  • Increased redness around it
  • Increased swelling
  • Continued bleeding
  • Pus or fluid
  • Discoloration in any nearby toenails

If you see any of these changes, your wound could be infected. Our team can help you address infected wounds with treatments like antibiotics and topical wound care therapies. Not only does this allow your wound to heal, but it also prevents complications.

If you have diabetes

Diabetes can cause a condition called neuropathy, which impacts how your nerves work. In your feet, this could mean you get a wound and don’t even feel it. Diabetes can also slow wound healing, heightening your risk of infection.

Ultimately, if you have diabetes, a foot or toe wound is a completely different story. Medical professionals call these wounds diabetic ulcers. To ensure you don’t wind up with complications, you should seek medical attention right away any time you get a wound on your feet.

If you have diabetes, or your toe or foot injury isn’t getting better, don’t wait to come see our team of foot health experts. Call North Central Texas Foot & Ankle today, or request an appointment online.

Mar 14th, 2024

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