Lacerations or cuts, especially those associated with a fracture or dislocation, can lead to serious problems if they are not treated properly and immediately. A severely injured foot can swell to such an extent that the blood vessels in the foot and toes are compressed, so that enough blood does not get into the foot to allow proper healing of the wound. Also, if you have diabetes, poor circulation, other systemic diseases, or if you are taking blood thinners, even a minor tear in the skin can become a serious problem if not treated immediately by a doctor. Deep wounds, those which expose bone and tendons, or wounds which are filled with dirt and other contaminants must also be treated immediately by a doctor, in order to prevent serious infection.
You need to use common sense when treating wounds and lacerations. If you are not sure of the extent of your injury, see a doctor immediately!
If the wound does not fit into the above categories, you can treat it with the following suggestions:
- Wash the wound with a mild soap and gauze pad. Scrub out any superficial dirt. Wash the wound again with hydrogen peroxide, and dry it with a clean kleenex. If deeper contaminants are present, see a doctor immediately.
- Stop the bleeding. This is done with mild pressure on the wound, while keeping the leg elevated (at least to the horizontal position). Applying ice for 5 minutes will also stop most superficial wounds from bleeding. If you cannot stop the bleeding, go to the emergency room immediately!
- Apply an antibiotic cream to the wound, and cover with sterile gauze and tape. Apply mild compression to the wound to keep it from bleeding. Make sure that the tips of the toes are left unbandaged, so that you can check to see that the color and temperature of the toes are normal. If the bandage is too tight, the toes may be a pale or blue color; and they may also be cool to the touch and throbbing. If any of these symptoms are present, remove the bandage because it is too tight, and it will cut off the circulation to the toes. This is dangerous. Re-apply the bandage with less compression. If the above signs occur again, see a doctor immediately. Leave this bandage on for 8 hours.
- During the first 8 hours stay off your foot, elevate it, and keep all pressure off of it.
- After 8 hours remove the bandage. If it is still bleeding, see a doctor immediately. If the bleeding has stopped, then do the following:
- Pat it dry with a clean kleenex. Apply antibiotic cream, and cover with gauze and a minimal amount of tape (air is needed to heal the wound, and too much tape or band aids, will prevent air from getting to the wound).
- Repeat (a) and (b) every 8 hours, until the wound heals. This may take 4 days to 2 weeks, depending on: where on the foot the wound is located, itís length and depth, and any other trauma the toe has sustained.
- Our injury shoe will allow the cut to heal more quickly by preventing movement of the injured foot, and by keeping all pressure off of it. This also reduces the pain. We will ship this shoe to you by Priority Mail at no additional cost to you.
- When bathing, keep the wound and foot dry. This can be done with plastic bags over the foot. This helps to prevent infection. If you follow the above suggestions, the wound should heal quickly and completely. However, if you see any signs of infection such as pus, increased redness, swelling, warmth, and/or continued bleeding and pain, see a doctor immediately.