What is a Foot Infection?

Foot infections range from the simple to the complex. Some are commonly known, such as athlete’s foot. Others are less well known. They are broken down into three groups including soft tissue infections, bone infections and diabetic infections. Soft tissue infections of the foot consist of any infection affecting the skin, tissues, ligaments, tendons, or joints. Bones are predisposed to infection in the foot because of their close proximity to the skin and a lack of a thick protective layer around most parts of the foot.

Soft Tissue Infections of the Foot

  • Cellulitis
  • Paronychia
  • Puncture wounds
  • Immunocompromise
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Asplenia
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Trauma
  • Surgical emergencies
  • Necrotizing Fascitis
  • Gas gangrene

Bone Infections of the Foot

  • Acute osteomyelitis
  • Chronic osteomyelitis
  • Osteomyelitis in trauma

Diabetic Foot Infections stem from diabetic wounds. Not all wounds will become infected, however it is important to see a doctor immediately if you suffer from diabetes and have an open wound on your foot.


Because the list of foot infections is so extensive, and what is listed here is only a sampling, it is important to see your podiatric physician to clearly determine the cause of the infection.


  1. eMedicine