Foot ulcers, wounds, or open sores that do not heal are one of the most severe signs of advanced peripheral artery disease. PAD causes poor circulation, which can lead to foot ulcers, among other health issues. It is essential to treat and take measures to prevent foot ulcers as soon as possible. Otherwise, if left untreated, you risk infection and the potential need for amputation. Let’s discuss the types of foot ulcer treatment and prevention to avoid severe damage to your feet.
There are many options available for foot ulcer treatment, which will promote healthy healing.
Topical Wound Care
Your doctor will need to clean and disinfect the ulcer, removing dead tissue surrounding it. Then a bandage is applied to keep the area protected while it heals. Then your doctor will show you how to take care of your ulcer at home by keeping it clean and covered. They may suggest a topical antibacterial ointment to prevent further infection. Daily wound care is essential to the healing process of foot ulcers.
Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to kill bacteria if the ulcer is infected. Infections can be hazardous if left untreated. Your doctor may also recommend antiplatelet medication, which prevents blood clots from forming. Another blood clot prevention medicine they might suggest is a hemorheological agent, which promotes blood flow. Preventing blood clots is vital because blood clots can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Compression treatment involves wearing compression stockings to improve vein circulation in your foot and treat swelling. This speeds up the healing process. Compression stockings also have the benefits of ease of use, keeping the wound dressing in place, and not damaging the wound while in use.
Prosthetics or Orthotics
Orthotic shoe inserts and braces can remove pressure on the ulcer while walking, allowing the ulcer to heal better. These can be customized for your foot to make sure it fits well and is comfortable.
Prevention is key to keeping your body safe and healthy, and it can be quite straightforward.
Wearing shoes at all times can prevent damage and irritation to your foot. Wearing well-fitting shoes and socks is also essential, as they enable better blood flow and decrease the risk of blisters or excess stress on your feet. Proper footwear will therefore prevent the development of new ulcers.
People with neuropathy and peripheral artery disease may experience nerve damage, resulting in a loss of feeling in their feet. This phenomenon can increase your risk of not noticing foot injuries or infections. If you have neuropathy and PAD, you must pay attention to the condition of your feet with daily checks, even if you do not feel any pain. Look for a rash, discoloration, or dry skin.
Consuming tobacco products, like cigarettes, can slow healing and cause circulatory issues that increase your risk of getting an ulcer. Quitting tobacco usage can prevent your likelihood of developing and worsening ulcers.
Proper nutrition from a well-balanced diet, or even supplements, can help your body grow tissue and heal faster. Faster healing is not only necessary when you have an ulcer, but it can help prevent one from forming. When less significant injuries occur, they will have less of a chance of developing into ulcers.
Here at South Valley Vascular, we know that foot ulcers caused by peripheral artery disease can be frightening. We can provide treatment and guidance so that you never have to worry about your health. We specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases and conditions of the blood vessels. For more information on foot ulcers or PAD, call us today at (559) 625-4118.