Taking care of ulcers at home can be intimidating for some patients, but it does not have to be that way.
Off-loading the ulcer site – Reducing the pressure that is placed on the wound site is beneficial because it decreases the amount of damage to the site and keeps a larger blood supply to the wound. An important part of offloading is wearing the correct shoe, padding around the ulcer, and walking only if permitted by your podiatrist.
Use the correct wound dressing – Ulcers need to have the proper environment to promote healing. You do not want the environment too wet or too dry. Excessively dry wound beds hinder the movement of the healing cells. When an area is really wet the skin becomes very fragile and is easily disrupted. The proper treatment should be applied directly to the wound and then covered with a secure wound dressing. The area should always be covered when it is not being assessed or cleaned. Keeping the wound covered is necessary for many reasons; keeps out potential infections, allows the topical treatment to stay at the wound site, and applies a small amount of pressure to combat excessive inflammation.
Never miss your appointment – Your appointment with your podiatrist is to check and make sure that the area has not become infected. If the site does become infected the open wound can lead to infection spreading into the blood stream or perhaps into the bone. Debridement, when the hard-callused skin is removed with a blade from the wound site, allows for the area surrounding the wound to have a healthy tissue with a blood supply.
The above steps are general guidelines, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders for your specific case.