Infections are a common complaint by patients to a podiatrist. Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot are quite common and can be typically treated by an antifungal cream or pill. If a viral infection is contracted in the skin of the foot, a wart can develop. Bacterial infections can develop from some sort of cut or opening in the skin. These bacterial infections are most commonly diagnosed as staphylococcus and streptococcus. These infections can cause differing damage to foot tissue depending on the severity and duration of the infection. Patients with diabetes are at a greater risk for these type of infections.
Cellulitis is an infection of the skin. It can vary from a light discoloration of the outer layer to a deep pus filled infection or abscess. Typically, cellulitis is caused by the bacteria streptococcus. As this bacterial infection develops, redness and inflammation can spread over the infected area. Skin can feel hot to the touch but the patient will often experience chills and fever. Additionally, patients who suffer from chronic swelling of the legs or venous stasis are at increased risk for cellulitis.
While athlete’s foot is treated with antifungals, other infections of the foot require more direct treatment. Fungus in the toenails can be treated with topical treatments or laser treatment. Cellulitis can be treated via antibiotics and ointments. If a client has complications related to diabetes, care must be applied to the wounds on the foot to ensure that they do not get infected. Routine care by a podiatrist may be necessary to ensure that wounds do not advance to infection and require more extreme or complicated forms of care. If you think you have an infection that is affecting your feet or toenails, make an appointment with one of the podiatrists at the Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Jersey for diagnosis and treatment.