So you’ve scraped your foot - no big deal. Cover it with a bandage, maybe a little over-the-counter antibacterial ointment, and you’re good. But do keep an eye on that crack, cut, or scrape and make sure it’s healing. When a wound doesn’t heal in a timely manner, it could be a sign that it’s infected. Worse, it could indicate an underlying health condition that you need to deal with.
You can tell if a wound is infected in a number of ways:
- excessive swelling or redness of the skin surrounding it
- warm to the touch
- has an odor
- it’s not getting any better
Wounds that signal something worse
Even in the absence of infection, an open wound that’s slow to heal can be a sign of another health problem such as
- Autoimmune disease - e.g. rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Malnutrition - your body needs certain nutrients - and enough calories - to fight infection. You may not be getting enough protein, vitamins, minerals, or fluids.
- Vascular disease - blood vessels are damaged or blocked and healing blood can’t get to the wound site.
- Rare conditions that affect people with existing health problems such as cancer or kidney disease.
If you presented to one of our board-certified podiatrists with a chronic wound on your foot, lupus or malnutrition probably wouldn’t be our first thought. We’d probably check you for diabetes, since having a wound that won’t heal is one of its key symptoms. Diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels. When glucose is high, blood vessels in the lower limbs are easily damaged, and foot health is compromised.
For expert wound care in Monmouth County, New Jersey, make an appointment with the board-certified podiatrists at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center - Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Joseph Saka, or Dr. Katy Statler. We offer Saturday and evening hours at our office in Howell. Contact us online or call us at (732) 905-1110.