Foot infections are painful disorders that can stem from basic foot injuries. These infections are initially characterized by swelling and tenderness, but symptoms can become much worse when ignored.
Most skin infections can be treated through antibiotics, but left untreated, infections can ultimately lead to hospitalization. This is why it’s important to see a podiatrist when you’re experiencing any foot abnormalities. They can diagnose the problem and address it before it becomes a serious issue.
Foot infections often form after wounds or injuries to the foot. Some of the common injuries and wounds that lead to infection are:
- Skin cracks
- Puncture wounds
- Foreign objects in the skin
- Ingrown nails
Both foot and ankle infections can form due to other infections already in the body. Those with diabetic foot complications frequently have foot infections and should monitor their condition closely. Seek professional treatment for suspected infections right away to avoid serious repercussions such as amputation.
Symptoms & Identification
Signs and symptoms of foot infections may include the following:
- Change in skin color
- Rise in skin temperature
- Swelling and pain
- Open wounds that are slow to heal
- Breaks or dryness in the skin
Checking your feet daily is incredibly important in catching a potential problem as early as possible to help prevent an infection.
Inspect your feet every day especially between the toes and the sole for:
- Other signs of abnormality
If you are someone with loss of sensation to your feet, you need to be especially careful – even something as simple as shoes that fit incorrectly can create a wound. When Left untreated these wounds can become infected and cause serious consequences.
Not all wounds or foot-related skin and nail conditions are infections. Still, you should see a podiatrist about any foot ailments you have even if it doesn’t seem “serious.” Early examination and treatment of your foot injury can prevent infection altogether.
If you are diagnosed with an infection, you’ll typically be put on an antibiotic (oral or topical). You’ll also need to constantly monitor the affected area and keep it clean.
A lot of the bacteria that cause foot infections have been gaining resistance to certain types of antibiotics – at Advanced Foot and Ankle, we can run several tests to determine the appropriate antibiotic for your foot infection. Treating a foot infection with “left-over” antibiotics from a previous infection is ill advised.