Avoid Foot Burns Around Summer Bonfires & Fireworks!

At the annual Red, White and Boom fireworks celebration last week for the 4th of July in Columbus, the summer season of fireworks, festivals and bonfires reached one of its high points. Luckily, very few injuries were reported during the celebrations on the 4th and the days following, however foot burns are a serious risk during many of these summer events. Burn wounds of the foot represent a unique and difficult area to treat.

Burns can occur from heat, electricity, chemicals or friction. In the foot, a recent study reported that most burns were due to scalding injuries. Burns can appear differently depending on severity. First degree burns affect only the most superficial skin layers and cause skin to appear dry and red. Second degree burns can vary in appearance from red with clear blisters to yellow or white. Second degree burns can also appear moist or dry and may be very painful or feel just an uncomfortable pressure sensation depending on how deep tissues were damaged. Third degree burns are also known as full thickness burns, as the entire thickness of the skin is damaged. Tissue will appear leathery and these wounds are typically painless. Fourth degree burns are the most serious and extend into underlying fat, muscle and bone. As a burn progresses from first to fourth degree, the severity of the wound and length of time required for healing increases.

Like other foot wounds, pressure caused by walking or standing must be removed in order to allow skin and underlying tissue to heal. Whether the wound is due to a burn, pressure or arterial disease, healing will be slowed in the presence of excess pressure. Offloading of the wound with customized orthotics or padding may be possible for small burn wounds. Wounds involving a large portion of the foot may require prolonged non-weightbearing or even hospitalization in order to alleviate pressure. Early treatment of burn wounds on the foot is crucial in order to decrease the occurrence of serious complications including infection, delayed healing, difficulty ambulating and prolonged bedrest. The likelihood of developing a complication is increased in smokers and individuals with diabetes and peripheral vascular disease. Individuals with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy are also at a higher risk of obtaining a burn wound due to lack of sensation. Space heaters and excessively hot foot soaks are dangers which individuals who lack foot sensation need to be aware of as a potential risk of a burn.

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more tips for healthier and happier feet or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

Columbus Podiatry & Surgery has opened a new location in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.

If you would like to be seen by our podiatrists in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-859-3338 (FEET) for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia