Summer 2004
Ask the Expert: Wounds That Won't Heal

I have an ugly open sore on my foot that’s been bothering me for several weeks. How do I get rid of this sore, and how can I keep this from happening again?

Philip Fidler, MD, Medical Director of the Wound Center at Bridgeport Hospital, responds:

Foot ulcers such as the one you describe are common. There are many causes, and no single type of treatment applies to every wound. The state of your circulatory system and your immune system, and the presence of infection or other diseases, especially diabetes, all need to be considered in deciding how to care for your sore. Because your sore has stubbornly refused to heal, ask your primary care physician if treatment by a wound care specialist is in order.
Philip Fidler, MD

Watch for Skin Changes

To prevent future ulcers, or help catch them early, when treatment is easier, check your arms, hands, legs, and feet nightly for these problems, and report them promptly to your physician:

Dryness and/or itching around the ankles or lower legs
Redness of the skin or changes in skin color especially brownish skin around the ankles and lower legs
Hot spots on your foot
Swelling of the foot or ankle that doesn't go away quickly when you lie down
Leg pain, at rest or while walking
Any wound or bruise that doesn't go away in a week.
Ingrown toenails
Fungal infections of the toenails
Corns or calluses with bleeding within the skin
Cracks in the skin, especially around the heel
Any cut or blister

With proper care, your ulcer will heal, and with proper prevention techniques, you can avoid this situation in the future.

To speak to an expert in the Wound Center at Bridgeport Hospital, please call 203-384-3647.

For a referral to an expert physician, please call Bridgeport Hospital Physician Referral at 888-357-2396.