Essential First Aid Tips for Foot Wounds

No matter how careful you try to be, cuts, scrapes, and burns can happen. If it does, proper wound care is essential, as it prevents infection and speeds up the body’s healing process. Follow these first aid tips for foot wounds so you can get back on your feet in no time.

Treating Small Cuts and Scrapes

Treat small cuts and scrapes in five easy steps.

Step 1. Wash Your Hands

Before treating any wound, wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Then, put on disposable gloves if they’re available. Having clean hands is important as this helps to prevent infections.

Step 2. Apply Gentle Pressure

A little bleeding is good as it helps to clean out wounds. To stop the bleeding, take sterile gauze or a clean cloth and gently press it against the wound. If blood soaks through, add another piece on top and continue to apply pressure. Be sure not to remove the gauze or cloth, as it may reopen the wound and cause the bleeding to start again.

Seek medical attention immediately if the wound:

  • doesn’t stop bleeding with gentle pressure applied.
  • is deeper or longer than half an inch.
  • is gaping or ragged.
  • was caused by a dirty or rusty object.
  • was caused by an animal or human bite.

Stitches are usually required for cuts deeper or longer than a half-inch.

Step 3. Clean Cuts and Scrapes

Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to clean an injury, as this can harm the tissue and delay healing. The best way to clean cuts and scrapes is by rinsing with cool water. Use a soft washcloth and mild soap to clean around the wound and alcohol-sterilized tweezers to remove any dirt or debris that remains.

Step 4. Use an Antibiotic Cream or Ointment

Antibiotic creams and ointments help keep the wound moist and ward off infection. Moist wounds help expedite the healing process and prevent bandages from sticking. Put a thin layer of one of these creams on the wound, and discontinue use if a rash develops.

Step 5. Cover With a Bandage

If left uncovered, wounds on your feet will rub against socks and shoes, putting them at risk of reopening or developing an infection. So, place a bandage on top and change it out daily or when it’s wet or dirty. Medical paper tape made without natural rubber latex may be a more gentle option for those with sensitive skin.

Treating Minor Burns

The best treatment for a minor burn is to cool the area right away with a cold cloth or cool water. This helps prevent the skin from retaining heat and continuing to burn. Afterward, wash the area with soap and water and dress it lightly.

Forming Scabs

Your body begins the healing almost immediately, forming a protective scab. If your wound becomes itchy, be gentle. You’ll want the scab to stay where it is.

Removing scabs can slow down the healing process. A new scab may form, and the more times a wound needs to form scabs, the more likely scar tissue will develop.

Signs of an Infected Wound

If you notice any of the following symptoms, the wound may be infected. Call your doctor if you notice:

  • redness or swelling.
  • pain that worsens.
  • warmth around the wound.
  • a green or yellow fluid.
  • a fever or chills.

Request an Appointment With The Foot & Ankle Center

If you are experiencing any problems with foot wounds, consult a podiatrist at The Foot & Ankle Center!

Since 1989, we have been proud to deliver patients the highest quality of care in a comfortable and convenient setting. Our friendly and attentive doctors are knowledgeable and dedicated to giving you the best care possible.

Call us at (314) 487-9300 or contact us online to request an appointment today!