Treating Pressure Injuries of the Foot

Healthcare provider examining man’s foot.

Hot spots, small cracks, and sores need be treated by your healthcare provider before they get infected. If the spot is already infected, your provider will prescribe medicine. If the infection has spread, you may need surgery.

Check your feet

What to look for:

  • Use a mirror to look at the bottom of your feet each day. This way, you can catch small skin changes before they turn into pressure injuries.

  • Call your healthcare provider if you notice hot spots, red streaks, swelling, or any cracks or sores. Don't try to treat corns or calluses yourself. 

  • Check the soles and insides of your shoes before putting them on. Remove any objects, such as pebbles.

Do your best to control health problems that may affect your feet. Eat right and exercise. If you are given medicines, take them as directed. Always wear shoes or slippers, even in the house. If you smoke, get help to stop. Smoking reduces blood flow and slows healing. Limit how much alcohol you drink. You may need surgery to improve the blood supply to your feet.

Cleaning pressure injuries

To aid healing, your healthcare provider may clear away the thick skin around the pressure injury. He or she may put medicated ointment or cream on the injury to prevent infection. Sometimes dressing is used to help keep the wound dry.

Reducing force

To take pressure off hot spots and pressure injuries, your healthcare provider may prescribe custom-made shoe inserts. These absorb or move pressure from problem areas. You may need special shoes or temporary casts. You may also need surgery to correct claw toes or hammertoes. This can reduce pressure injuries.

Using antibiotics

To control or prevent infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics. Take them as directed. If you stop using them too soon, the infection may come back.

If you need surgery

You may need surgery if infection enters deep tissues or bone. In such cases, your healthcare provider cleans away the infection. He or she removes as little tissue or bone as possible. You may need antibiotics by IV to fight the infection.