Wound Care—When to Call the Doctor

We’ve all been in this position before: we don’t feel well but are not sure if it’s worth calling the doctor. We hope whatever is bothering us will just go away on its own.  When it comes to foot wounds, there are some very clear indicators when it’s time to call the doctor.

First, some wound care basics. A wound is defined as any break in the skin or deep tissue. (A wound can also be a surgical incision that is healing or the result of exposure of the skin to extreme temperatures, i.e., frostbite or chemical burns). Minor cuts and scrapes do usually heal on their own. At Great Neck Family Foot Care, we recommend that you do the following to ensure a wound heals quickly:

  • Wash the wound immediately and apply anti-bacterial ointment and a clean dressing.
  • Change the dressing as needed, being sure to wash your hands first.
  • Protect the area from any further trauma or injury.

If you find that a wound is not healing in a few days or shows signs of getting worse, you may need to schedule an appointment in our Great Neck office to see Dr. Alec Hochstein, our board certified podiatrist. Great Neck Family Foot Care is highly experienced at treating acute and chronic wounds. If you notice any of the following signs, please call us immediately:

  • Pain that is getting worse instead of better
  • Any redness around the wound or streaking out from the wound
  • Swelling
  • Heat or warmth in the skin surrounding the wound
  • Increase in drainage from a wound or a change in the color or quality of the fluid draining from the wound
  • An odor coming from the wound site, particularly if it is still noticeable after you have cleaned the wound area
  • Fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting—requires immediate attention

These can all be signs that the wound is not healing properly and that an infection may be developing, which can have serious health consequences. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to the health of your feet. If in doubt, call us at (516) 482-5999 and our trained staff will assist you.