Painful foot infections can make it difficult to walk or enjoy your usual activities. Stanley Leis, DPM, Rebecca Smiley-Leis, DPM, Stewart Jones, DPM, Kerry Anderson, DPM, and Randall Benedict, DPM, the podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise, ID, are here to share information on several common foot infections and treatments.
You don't have to be an athlete to develop this common fungal infection. The fungus that causes the infection lives in warm, humid places and thrives in showers and damp socks. Athlete's foot is contagious, which is why it's best to wear shower shoes when you use a communal shower room. The infection causes a scaly, itchy rash between your toes. Over-the-counter sprays and creams are usually effective, but if your symptoms continue longer than a few weeks, or if you have diabetes, see your podiatrist. He or she can prescribe stronger anti-fungal medications that will clear up the fungus.
Toenail infections are often caused by an ingrown toenail, although injuries can also cause infections. In addition to pain, you may notice that the skin around the ingrown toenail or injured area is red and swollen. Podiatrists use antibiotics to treat the infection. Your doctor may also recommend removing all or part of your toenail.
Cellulitis is a skin infection that occurs when bacteria enters your body through breaks in the skin. Calluses, broken blister, eczema, corns, areas of dry skin or ingrown toenails can cause tiny breaks that allow bacteria to enter. Symptoms of cellulitis include redness, pain, warmth, fever, chills, red streaks or pus. Podiatrists treat cellulitis with antibiotics. In severe cases, intravenous antibiotics or surgery may be needed to clear the infection.
Diabetic foot infections
People who have diabetes are more likely to develop foot infections due to nerve damage and poor blood flow to the feet. When you have diabetes, healing of foot infections also takes longer. People who have diabetes are at increased risk of developing osteomyelitis, a bone infection, that may require the removal of the affected bone if antibiotics aren't helpful. If you have diabetes, inspect your feet daily and call your Boise podiatrist immediately if you spot any signs of injury or infection.
Are you concerned about a foot issue? Your Boise, ID, podiatrists at Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates can help. Call us at (208) to schedule an appointment.