Proper first aid for feet or any other part of the body can greatly reduce the risk of a small problem becoming much worse.
Injuries to your foot or ankle are frequent. They range from stubbing a toe to fracturing an ankle. Whenever you sustain an injury to your foot or ankle, think R.I.C.E. – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Apply ice and elevate your feet as soon as possible. Along with rest and gentle compression this reduces bleeding and subsequent swelling of the damaged tissues. Don’t apply heat to an injury for at least 36 hours after it occurs.
If you suspect you have broken a bone, it is important that the part be immobilized to prevent any possible further damage. Examination and x-ray will help determine the necessary treatment.
Treatment of Cuts and Sores
Cuts on the foot are best treated by thoroughly cleaning the area with an antibacterial soap, such as Dial, and then applying an antiseptic like Merthiolate or Betadine. The cut should be kept covered with sterile gauze dressing until a scab is well-formed, usually several days. If the cut is bleeding heavily, elevate the leg and apply firm pressure with gauze directly on the cut for about 20 minutes. This usually will allow the bleeding to stop. If the bleeding continues, or if it is a puncture wound, get professional help.
If you have a cut or sore on your foot that is red and swollen, with drainage coming from it, then it is probably infected. First soak the area for 20 minutes in warm water, with two tablespoons of Epsom salts or table salt added for each gallon of water. Do this frequently, four to six times a day. Keep the area covered with sterile gauze between soaks. If you find that the condition is not improving after one day, or if you see any red streaks going up the foot or leg, or if you have any soreness behind the knee or in the groin area, professional attention is needed immediately to get the infection under control. Infections are a serious matter and should be dealt with promptly. Failure to have proper treatment of a minor infection may allow it to develop into a life-threatening situation. Do not delay!
If you find that you are in need of professional care due to an injury or infection of the foot, see your podiatrist.
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ASA Treatment Facilities
The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities and provide 24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file all necessary insurance forms and make every effort to assure you of maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expense.