Recognizing Serious Foot Wounds and Ulcers

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When we talk about wounds or ulcers on the feet at Paul Klein, DPM FACFAS, we find most patients think of these conditions as relating to diabetes. There are, however, other disorders that can result in chronic foot wounds that require treatment by the podiatrist. These include:

Necrotising fasciitis—more commonly known as “flesh-eating virus,” this is a bacterial skin infection which can be caused by several different and dangerous bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Group A Streptococcus and Klebsiella. The bacteria can enter the body through a cut, bug bite or burn and can actually be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms include: a spreading purplish bruise, warm skin, muscle soreness, fever and chills.

Vasculitic ulcers—this type of wound is caused by an inflammation of micro and regular blood vessels in the lower leg and feet. This is seen among patients with Hepatitis B and cancer as well as those exposed to dangerous chemicals.

Calciphylaxis—patients receiving hemodialysis (kidney cleaning) treatment are at risk for this condition. Calciphylaxis occurs when blood vessels calcify and clot forms. Blood is cut off from tissues which cause serious wounds that are characterized by very painful skin lesions that are purplish black in color and feel leathery. This type of wound can be life threatening.

Minor scrapes, cuts and wounds can be taken care of at home by cleaning them completely, applying an antibiotic ointment and covering with a bandage. Wounds that look unusual, have discharge or any of the above symptoms need to be seen by our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein as soon as possible. If you have diabetes or an autoimmune disease, it is particularly urgent that you inform our Wayne, NJ office immediately. Once Dr. Klein examines your feet, he will perform the necessary tests to determine the cause of the wound. Wound treatment can vary greatly depending on the cause and may include oral medications, antibiotics, topical medications and even surgery to cure.

If you have a wound that you are unsure about, contact us by calling: 973-595-1555. It’s recommended that you err on the side of caution when dealing with ulcers and wounds on your feet and lower extremities.