No matter how clean you keep your feet, they are constantly in contact with microorganisms that can cause infection. Bacteria and fungus are the most common offenders. Because this is Fungal disease Awareness Week, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information regarding the most common foot infections.
Fungal Foot Infections: These are familiar to many of us who may have picked up a toenail or foot infection in a spa or locker room. The foot, particularly between the toes, provides the perfect environment for infection. All it takes for the infection to develop is for the foot to come in contact with a contaminated surface.
Athlete’s Foot: When itchiness, flaking, and a rash develops between the toes, it is most often related to a common condition known as athlete’s foot. The fungus thrives in moist, warm environments such as saunas and gyms and can flourish in sweaty shoes and socks. It is very contagious and can be easily spread through contaminated towels, clothing, or floors.
Toenail Fungus: This fungal infection typically slowly grows underneath the toenail. Its symptoms include a yellowish or white discoloration, and the flaking and thickening of the nail, which separates from the nail bed. It often accompanies athlete’s foot and is more common in people with a weakened immune system.
Bacterial Foot Infections: While somewhat less common than a fungal infection, a bacterial foot infection can sometimes become serious, and develop from a local infection to a systemic one. Most are established through abrasions or breaks in the skin, often as a result of a penetrating wound.
Foot Abscess: Bacterial foot infections sometimes consolidate into a pocket of pus known as an abscess. This is most often caused by a puncture wound or the infection of a hair follicle.
Cellulitis: This is a potentially serious skin condition in which a local bacterial infection spreads from the site of the initial wound. It typically starts as a small area of inflammation that quickly spreads to surrounding tissues.
If you’re dealing with one of these or any other foot issues, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule a consultation. Call our office today at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.