Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Types of Foot Infections, Part 2

In a previous blog post, the Dallas podiatrists at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center discussed common fungal foot infections and how they affect the feet and the body. We’ll continue on that topic today, with more frustrating fungal infections and how to deal with them.

Pitted Keratolysis

Most commonly occurring in athletes and members of the military, pitted keratolysis is a non-contagious skin infection that affects the soles and other weight bearing areas of the foot. While it’s most commonly found in males, pitted keratolysis can affect people of any age, race, or sex.

Pitted keratolysis is identified by its trademark appearance: circular, shallow pits covering the toes that cause itching, redness, and irritation.

People who sweat excessively, and wear tight, restrictive footwear are at a much higher risk of developing pitted keratolysis symptoms—so if you’re physically active, be sure to wear shoes that are supportive, but breathable.

If you have pitted keratolysis, there are many over-the-counter topical ointments that can treat symptoms. However, if your symptoms won’t go away, or are growing worse over time, it’s best to stop by your local podiatrist for more advanced treatment.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema, also known as dyshidrosis, is not well understood by medical professionals—the cause of this infection is unknown. Many researchers believe dyshidrotic eczema could be caused by stress or seasonal allergies, as symptoms of this ailment can be exacerbated by some patients during the spring allergy season.

The primary symptom of dyshidrotic eczema are painful, fluid-filled blisters across the feet and toes, which can cause discomfort while walking and wearing socks and shoes. After three weeks, many of these blisters will dry up, creating even more painful cracks as well as intense itching. If you begin scratching in these affected areas, you will eventually notice a sponginess or thickness to the soles of your feet.

If you suspect you might have dyshidrotic eczema, schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist immediately. They will most likely run some sort of skin biopsy to confirm your ailments, and might perform a skin allergy test if they suspect your dyshidrotic eczema might be caused by seasonal or chronic allergies. But for temporary relief of mild dyshidrotic eczema symptoms, over the counter medications like Benadryl or Claritin may be helpful.

Ringworm

Surprise—ringworm is not caused by a worm. It’s caused by a fungus that infects skin all over the human body. Ringworm manifests itself as red, crusty rashes, and can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. In more serious cases, ringworm can cause hair loss and painful blisters as well.

It’s important to treat symptoms of ringworm as quickly as possible, as ringworm is extremely contagious. Stop by your local drug store for antifungal ointment for expedient treatment, and talk to your podiatrist if your symptoms persist or become more painful over time.

Cellulitis

Cellulitis doesn’t just affect the skin—it affects tissues beneath the skin, like the dermis and subcutaneous tissue. Cellulitis develops when streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria enter through an open wound on the skin, which makes the risk of cellulitis higher for those with large cuts or bruises, or post-surgery wounds in the healing process.

This infection causes redness, swelling, tenderness, and warmth on affected areas of the legs, feet, and toes. As bacteria spreads across the skin, the affected person may develop fever, chills, excessive sweating, and swollen lymph nodes near the infected area. Cellulitis is not contagious, and mainly affects the middle-aged and the elderly.

For treatment of cellulitis, talk to your primary care physician—most of the time, oral and intravenous antibiotics will be enough to eradicate cellulitis. But in extreme cases, a bacterial infection specialist or surgeon might be needed for advanced treatment of cellulitis symptoms.

Abscesses

Abscesses are not bacterial infections themselves, but rather a byproduct of these infections. Identified by swelling, discomfort, and redness, abscesses are collections of pus that develop in tissues of the body (carbuncles and boils are great examples of abscesses).

The only way to treat an abscess is to have a professional cut it open a drain the pus from the infected area—but even then, there’s no guarantee that the abscess won’t return. Talk to your physician if you’ve developed an abscess, and do it sooner rather than later—abscesses become much more painful if not treated in a timely manner.

Talk to Your Local Dallas Podiatrist

While some of the above conditions are best treated by a dermatologist or bacterial infection specialist, the professionals at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center are always happy to help you solve your foot and ankle problems! Stop by our Dallas or Arlington office, and get back on your feet today!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Do High Heels Fuel Bunion Pain?

Your high heels may feel like the finishing touch on the perfect outfit, but they can cause major wrinkles in your foot health. If you have foot pain and bunions, here’s why it’s time to ditch the high heels.

High Heels Could Be Ruining Your Feet

How much pain and potential damage are you willing to endure for fashion? Even if you love the way heels make you look, be cautious about when and for how long you wear them because high heels can worsen your foot pain.

What Causes Gout?

Gout causes sudden and severe pain, and can develop in any joint, although the most common location is the big toe. If you think you have gout, there are lifestyle changes and treatments that can help with the pain and worsening of this condition.

5 Causes of Chronic Toe Pain

Toe pain can make it difficult to get from point A to point B, but before you can find pain relief, you need to confirm the source of your pain. Here are five common causes of chronic toe pain.

Is Nail Fungus Contagious?

Do you have thick, discolored, or easily broken toenails? You could have a fungal infection. These common and highly contagious infections can be notoriously difficult to treat without professional attention. Keep reading to learn more.