When you sustain an injury that creates an open wound, top-quality wound care is essential. Philip Garrett, DPM, and Dong Kim, DPM, at Landmark Foot and Ankle Center in Alexandria, Virginia, offer outstanding wound care services to help your body heal properly and safely. If you find yourself in need of wound care, reach out to the office online or over the phone to set up a visit.

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What is wound care?

Simply put, wound care is medical care focused on supporting healthy tissue healing after the surface of the skin is broken. While many small wounds heal on their own, a significant wound or one that is not healing properly needs specialized care.

There are many different types of wounds that might require healing support. Some of the most common include:

  • Pressure sores
  • Foot ulcers
  • Surgical wounds
  • Traumatic injuries

If you have a compromised immune system due to diabetes, cancer, chemotherapy, or nerve damage, you have an elevated risk of a wound that won’t heal properly without treatment.

Why is wound care important for diabetics?

Diabetes interferes with normal circulation and can also cause neuropathy, or nerve damage. The combination of these factors can make it hard for you to feel minor wounds on your feet and also prevent normal healing.

Even something as simple as a small cut on the bottom of your foot can quickly develop into a serious wound. Without professional wound care, a minor break in the skin can begin a cascade of negative effects. For some diabetics, amputation is the eventual outcome of a wound that won’t heal.

When should I seek treatment for a wound?

Minor wounds should be kept clean and covered with a bandage to promote healing. Over-the-counter antibiotic ointments can also support proper healing.

If your wound is large, deep, or does not seem to be healing within a couple of days, it’s important to visit Landmark Foot and Ankle Center for a professional assessment. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to a wound.

What is the goal of wound care?

Wound care has several goals, all of which focus on restoring your tissue to an optimal state of health. Some of these goals include:

  • Speeding healing
  • Preventing the wound from worsening
  • Preventing loss of limbs
  • Supporting mobility

No two wounds are exactly alike, and after your thorough diagnostic exam, you begin a personalized treatment process.

What are some options for wound care?

The first step involves cleaning the wound to remove any bacteria or debris. Debridement is sometimes needed, which is the process of removing dead skin and other tissue. You might need anesthesia to reduce sensation during debridement.

There are multiple ways to clean wounds, including using water or special chemicals. Your provider might use wet dressings, and, in some cases, they must cut tissue away with a sterile scalpel.

Once the wound is clean, your provider applies a sterile dressing to protect the area, ensuring a moist environment and preventing infection. There are many different wound dressing options to choose from.

Additional wound care tools include compression stockings, ultrasound therapy, and negative pressure therapy, which works by “pulling” air out of a closed dressing to improve blood flow. You likely return for follow-up care to keep a close eye on the healing process.

If you or a loved one requires wound care, consider setting up a visit at Landmark Foot and Ankle Center. You can schedule an appointment online or over the phone in just moments.