Hey guys, I got a couple of wounds on my feet. One on the back of each heel from diving, the flippers created friction and caused holes, this was about a month ago. The other was a mosquito bite I scratched on the top of my foot, about three weeks ago. I've been cleaning them several times a day since they first got infected and although I always clear the infections, the wounds cant seem to heal fast enough and keep getting infected over and over again despite my best intentions. I guess it's cuz I wear sandals during the day but I do cover them with plasters when I'm out. I'm in Laos and have been asking some pharmacists for things to accelerate wound healing but of course I just get blank stares. I'm just worried i'll get something really nasty along the way as I still have a ways to go on my travels. It seems I've been healing much slower here than at home too, weird. Anyone dealt with this stuff while abroad and any suggestions? I feel I'm gonna have bloody stumps by the end of this...
Perhaps the cuts are taking longer to heal because of the humidity in Asia? I suggest finding an English-speaking doctor in Laos, who will give you some proper advice. A quick internet search should give you some names and addresses, or maybe there is some information on TravelBlog's Laos forum? In the meantime, salt water is supposed to help close wounds.
The embassy website can also be a good place to check for English-speaking doctors.
What you probably want is a topical antibiotic. In many places pharmacists are familiar with the medical name, so perhaps write down a request for "bacitracin zinc" which is very common in over-the-counter antibiotic creams. Often you'll see it mixed with "polymyxin b sulfate" and/or "neomycin." Jonathan's right that heat and humidity make the perfect environment for bacterial growth which will mean your cuts take longer to heal.
Hope it gets better!
Danny---was in South America last year when I had need for a doctor for a painful ear infection. Went to a pharmacist and he told me he knew exactly what I needed but did not have the medication in stock. He actually walked with me down the street for two blocks to another pharmacy , where he talked with the pharmacist and I got my medication. The guy was most helpful and sevices beyond belief. I also stopped at the medcial center at the Amsterdam airport where I got some help for an infection which I thought I picked up in Denmark. They sold me some medication which worked and as soon as I got back home I went to another doctor. Keep checking with different pharmacist I believe would be your best bet in Laos.
oh no! make sure it is not mrsa...
Alright so the one on my heel is still pussing like everyday. I have gone to different pharmacists but they just keep giving me the same topical antibiotics. My folks back home are gonna contact the travel clinic I went to before leaving and see if they can get me some info. It's not terrible and doesnt stop me from doing anything but still is annoying and of course has the potential to get much worse. However I have talked to many other travelers who are complaining of similar problems. In my case I bet wearing flip flops everyday and swimming in fresh water (Laos for the last 2 weeks) is not helping my cause...
Btw what is mrsa?
MRSA is a methicillin resistant staph-infection, known for a while as the "flesh-eating disease," but you are most likely to get it in modern hospitals where patients have been over-treated with precautionary broad-spectrum antibiotics. In fact, almost all cases of mrsa are actually acquired once a person has already been admitted to a hospital or nursing home for something else. It got a lot of press coverage in the U.S the past few years. But if that's what you had it would have spread considerably (often overnight you can see the reddened area grow larger and spread if you draw a pen line around it the night before), so I would NOT freak out about it.
In response to: Msg #102893
i jsut got back to vietnam and have had the exact same issue!! many little cuts or scrapes on my feet that are taking WAY longer to heal than they would back home WHICH ALSO REPEATEDLY GET INFECTED regardless of the stuff i put on them.
what happened to you in the end?
One thing about SE Asia is that the pharmacists in the chemists act like doctors and can treat your wounds. You can also buy antibiotic creams etc. over the counter, rather than getting them on prescription. Try going to one and seeing what they recommend.