foot infectionFoot infections occur for a variety of reasons. For instance, microorganisms like bacteria or fungi can enter the foot through a break or wound in the skin. Skin of the feet can also come in contact with these microorganisms in moist, warm environments where they often thrive.

What Are the Symptoms of a Foot Infection?

While symptoms will vary, depending on the cause of the infection, the most common signs of a foot infection include:

  • Swelling
  • Persistent itching or pain
  • Heat
  • Difficulty walking
  • A foul odor
  • Pus
  • Discoloration
  • Wounds that will not heal

Types of Foot Infections

Foot infections are actually common, and varied. Some infections occur in soft tissue or bones, while others are due to complications from diabetes. Some of the more common causes of foot infections include:

  • Fungi. These types of infections can occur in both the skin and the toenails, often when the feet are exposed to wet conditions for extended periods of time.
  • Bacteria. Bacteria that either resides on the ground or on the body (microbiome) can can enter the skin through cracks, cuts, or wounds caused by ingrown toenails, warts, or through trauma.
  • Diabetes. Heightened glucose levels due to diabetes can cause damage to the skin, nerves, and blood vessels in the feet. Diabetes can also compromise normal blood circulation which can make it difficult for wounds to heal, which may lead toinfections.
  • Surgery. Infections can develop after surgery, including foot surgery. Although this is not a common occurrence, having diabetes or immune deficiencies can increase the risk of infection after surgery.

Infections are a serious development and should not be ignored. Make an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as possible if you believe you may have a foot infection, to receive the professional care you need.

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