Wound Care Basics

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Most people know best practices for treating a minor cut or scrape, but not everyone knows what to do when there is a more serious wound. Here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, our podiatrist, Dr. David R. Sullivan, is a Certified Wound Specialist and a Fellow of the American College of Certified Wound Specialists and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care. In short, he knows a thing or two about wounds! We put together information on wounds and best practices for care.

When should I seek medical attention?

You should always call our offices here if any of the following criteria are met:

  • The wound is ½ inch or deeper

  • Bleeding persists after 20 minutes

  • Blood flow doesn’t stop after applying pressure to the wound

  • The wound was a result of a serious accident

What if it’s a minor wound?

Again, if you’re ever unsure, it’s best to check in with a doctor to make sure a wound doesn’t need medical attention. If a doctor has told you a wound is minor and can be cared for at home, it’s important to keep the site of the wound clean until it is fully healed. Even slight breaks in the skin can be entry points for bacteria and dirt, which could lead to a nasty infection. Petroleum jelly is a great barrier to prevent dirt and debris from entering the wound. After applying the petroleum jelly, cover with a bandage. This will help keep the site moist which will promote speedier healing. Do daily bandage changes until the wound is healed completely.

Here are a few steps you can take to promote quicker healing (after you’ve seen a doctor):

  • Drink more fluids to flush out your system

  • Eat healthy whole foods with plenty of protein

  • Get some extra rest

  • Stop smoking! Smoking impedes oxygen-rich blood from reaching the extremities, slowing healing

For diabetic patients

If you are a patient with diabetes, you should always have foot or ankle wounds assessed by your podiatrist. Infection can set in more rapidly for diabetic patients and could even lead to limb amputation. It’s better to be safe!

If you’ve sustained a wound, call your podiatrist today. Dr. David R. Sullivan here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, has extensive wound training and is available to diagnose and treat a wound or any other foot or ankle issue. You can reach our conveniently located Westfield, IN office at 317-896-6655.