Walking barefoot outside or around the house may feel comfortable, however, it can raise your risk for a serious puncture wound on the bottom of your foot. Unless you are sure that the ground or floor is free from debris or other objects that can be stepped on, it is better to wear shoes or slippers. If you step on something and sustain a puncture wound to the bottom of your foot, seek urgent care services so that the staff can quickly implement the following interventions.
Remove, Clean, and Close
When you visit an urgent care facility, the physician will examine your injury to determine if the object is still in your foot. If so, it will be carefully removed. Next, the puncture wound will be irrigated with copious amounts of sterile water and cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
If the wound is deep and bleeding profusely, the injury will be closed with sutures or surgical staples. You may want to try to clean your injury before going to the urgent care facility. However, if you are in extreme pain, if the object is sticking out of your foot, or if you are bleeding profusely, do not waste time cleaning the injury. Instead, seek treatment as soon as possible.
Booster and Antibiotics
If it has been a decade or more since your last tetanus shot, the urgent care physician will recommend a booster injection to prevent tetanus, otherwise known as lockjaw. While rare, this disease can lead to paralysis and may be life-threatening. In addition to a booster shot, the physician may prescribe a topical antibiotic ointment or an oral antibiotic. If warranted, the doctor may prescribe both a topical and oral antibiotic, especially if your injury is deep.
If you were given oral antibiotics, it is important that you finish all of your pills. If you develop side effects from the antibiotics such as abdominal cramps or nausea, tell your doctor so that a different antibiotic can be prescribed. Also, call your doctor if you develop signs or symptoms of an infection in the wound. These may include increased redness, drainage, severe pain, fever, malaise, chills, or loss of appetite.
If you sustain a puncture wound to the foot, seek treatment at an urgent care facility as soon as possible. The sooner your condition is evaluated and treated, the less likely you will be to develop an infection or permanent tissue damage.
For more information about urgent care services, contact a local care clinic, like 75th St Injury & Illness Center.