Common Foot Infections
Your feet serve you well, and they are more complex than you may think. They are also prone to infections, particularly if you have a suppressed immune system, suffer from peripheral vascular disease (PVD), are diabetic or have sustained an injury. However, anyone can get one of several common foot and nail infections.
Dr. Douglas Stabile and his associate podiatrists at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of North Virginia, PC provide treatment for a wide array of foot and ankle conditions of the bone, soft tissue, and skin. These Stafford podiatrists want each and every one of their patients to have the healthiest and best functioning feet possible. They want you to know about common foot infections.
Cellulitis of the foot or ankle exhibits areas of red, tender, warm skin. Staph and strep bacteria are the most common infective agents, often gaining access through an ingrown toenail or trauma to the foot.
Athlete's Foot is a fungal infection of the skin and toenails. Tinea pedis is the cause, and because it thrives in damp, dark shoes and wet areas such as swimming pool decks and shower stalls it's hard to keep free of Athlete's Foot and fungal toenails. Characterized by red, cracked itchy skin, especially between the toes, or by yellowed, darkened, thick toenails, fungal infections are treated with local anti-fungal creams and other interventions.
Pain, fever, chills and localized redness and swelling characterize osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone in the foot or other areas of the body such as the long bone of the leg. The American Podiatric Medical Association states that this common infection often begins elsewhere and travels to the foot. Injury, diabetes, PVD and long-term use of catheters and IV lines set the stage for osteomyelitis. Injury, such as a dog bite, or implantation of a prosthetic joint and related hardware, are other common causes. Treatment includes debridement of diseased tissue and antibiotics.
Prevention of Foot Infections
Besides annual foot exams (and as needed check-ups for diabetic patients), Dr. Stabile advises common sense preventive measures to avoid foot infections:
- wearing well-fitting, well-supporting shoes with wide toe boxes
- changing socks every day
- washing feet daily and drying thoroughly, especially between the toes
- exercise, including stretching, as needed
- wearing shower sandals near swimming pools and in locker rooms
Come to See Us
The Institute for Preventive Foot Health rightly states that your feet are the main supports and means of day to day mobility. Stafford podiatrist Dr. Stabile and his friendly staff at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of North Virginia, PC provide a wide array of ways to keep your feet healthy and you pain-free and moving. Call the office today at 540-720-0700 if you have a question or concern or need to schedule a regular check-up.