The most important thing your father in law can do is to control his blood sugar. Complications such as neuropathy are the result of sustained high blood sugars. With tighter control these complications will lessen and not progress. I would use antibiotic creme on the toe. If it doesn't heal in a day or two you might want to bring him to the podiatrist.
thankyou Zoelula. I'll take your advice.
He's in one of those regretful stages of life. He was pretty noncompliant for years, and only now is discovering why we nagged him. I do all his cooking now so his sugars are stable, but sadly, he has done himself damage.
The plan should be to get him to a diabetic wound care specialist for a consultation and recommended treatment. These wound care centers are very good at what they do.
Oral antibiotics do not travel well to the extremities and there is no rationale for prophalactic antibiotics.
If he needs antibiotic for infection they will probably be administered intravenously.
Antibiotic creme is a good idea and the salt baths are reasonable, but he is in a situation where in twelve hours he could end up with a situation where the foot would have to be amputated.
If you can observe the foot carefully at least twice a day.
Niacin supplements will improve microcirculation, as well as 1000 mg daily of omega-3 oils.
I'm sorry to hear your father in law's situation, Helen. It's all too easy to think "it won't happen to me" . That's why I'm on a website with 15,000 people with diabetes. I learn from others and get motivated! You sound like a very caring daughter-in-law. He's lucky to have you.
You were right. I actually took my father-in-law to a clinic yesterday, they examined his foot and we got some antibiotic cream. This morning I noticed a different toe on the same foot going black. I brought him back to the clinic and now we are waiting for a vascular surgeon to call re an appt, presumably to discuss amputation.
I'm so sorry to hear that, Helen, it is every diabetic's worse nightmare.