“As a foot and ankle specialist and also a wound care physician, I have a special interest helping patients heal a wide variety of wounds, whether simple cuts and scrapes to more complex wounds requiring antibiotics, surgical intervention and/or amputation.”
-Dr. Amy Barko
Every wound, whether big or small, needs to be taken seriously and requires special care and treatment while the body helps heal itself. We have treated many wounds over the years and have seen much confusion among patients regarding proper care of their wounds.
Below we bust the biggest wound care myths:
Myth: Rubbing alcohol and/or hydrogen peroxide are great wound cleansers.
Fact: Rubbing alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide were shown in several studies to destroy normal tissue and cells that are trying to mend a wound. Repeated use these products can be harmful to the wound-healing process. Simple warm water and antibacterial soap to cleanse the wound is just fine.
Myth: Topical or oral antibiotics should always be used to help heal a wound.
Fact: While there are times when antibiotics may be necessary to help heal a wound, antibiotics should only be used if the wound is infected and should only be used for 7-10 days.
Prolonged use of antibiotics may cause you to develop bacterial resistance. It is recommended that you see a physician if you think the wound may be infected.
Myth: Let the wound develop a scab because a scab is a good thing
Fact: Not true! A scab develops when the wound is allowed to dry up. Scabs make it more difficult for new skins cells to protect the wound.
A scab can also trap inflammatory tissue and bacteria. This can slow the healing process and increase the chance of infection.
Myth: Keep the wound open to air and let it dry out.
Fact: Wounds that are left to “dry out” are more likely to experience a difficult healing process. Wounds heal best in a moist environment. It is also important to know that a wound that is too moist will have a difficult time healing as well.
Myth: Only large wounds require treatment.
Fact: Don’t ignore your wounds, even if they are very small. Bacteria can still enter through any wound, even one that is the size of a needlepoint. Proper treatment of all wounds, no matter the size, will help prevent infection and help it heal quicker.
TIPS FOR TREATING A DIABETIC WOUND:
- Take care of the wound immediately. Even a minor wound, such as a blister or cut, can become infected if bacteria is allowed time to build up after injury.
- Clean your wound. Use water and antibacterial soap to get the dirt out. Then apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and cover with a sterile bandage. Do NOT soak your wound
- Keep pressure off wound. If your wound is on the bottom of your foot, stay off of it as much as possible.
- Come see us. Don’t risk an infection. Minor skin problems or areas of interest should be treated before they become severe.