Common Foot Infections: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Common Foot Infections: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Our feet take on so much abuse from daily walking, standing, running, jumping, and other activities involving our feet. We shouldn’t be surprised that they are prone to various kinds of problems. Some of the usual problems that develop in our feet are calluses, bunions, ingrown toenails, and also common foot infections.

In this post, we’ll focus on the usual infections that develop in the feet as well as their symptoms, causes, and treatments. Do take note that if you find that you have any of these conditions, it is best that you go to your foot doctor as soon as you can so you can have a proper diagnosis. The right diagnosis of your condition will lead to the right treatment so that your condition can be addressed. Here are some of the foot infections that you should watch out for.

Athlete’s Foot

common foot infections: athletes foot

Common foot infection: Athlete’s Foot

This foot condition is a skin fungal infection. It is usually appears in between your toes. But athlete’s foot can actually spread to other parts of the body. This can cause much discomfort such as itching and sometimes even pain.

Causes of Athlete’s Foot

You can get athlete’s foot in areas where people commonly walk without any footwear on. So, this could be the pool, shower, or areas of the gym. The type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot thrives in warm and damp places. When you wear shoes that are damp then that can cause fungal growth leading to athlete’s foot. Take note that the infection can spread to your hands, scalp, and groin.

Athlete’s Foot Symptoms

You’ll know if you have athlete’s foot if you feel any itching in between your toes. When you look at it, you’ll see that your skin begins to crack, blister, and peel. Your skin in your heels can also crack because of athlete’s foot.

Treatments for Athlete’s Foot

To treat athlete’s foot, always keep your feet clean. When you dry them, do so with a towel dedicated for that part of the body. There are also antifungal creams that you can buy in drugstores. Lotions, powders, and sprays for your feet are also available.

If in case none of the said treatments worked for you and you notice that the symptoms of athlete’s foot continue to get worse, then it’s time to go to a doctor. You may need a prescription for oral antifungal meds.

Toenail Fungus Infection

Common foot infection: toe nail fungus

Example of toe nail fungus infection

The technical term for toenail fungus is Onychomycosis. It is when you develop a fungal infection under your toenail. It is slow-growing and usually appears if you have athlete’s foot. So, it is best that when you notice any signs of infection, find ways to have it treated immediately before it gets worse, or in this case, reach your toenails.

Toenail Fungus Infections Symptoms

The symptoms of this condition include yellowish or white discoloration of the toenail. The toenail also becomes thick and flaky, separating from your nail bed. Not only will it cause you discomfort, this won’t be a very good sight to see so make sure that you seek treatment as soon as possible.

Treatment of Toenail Fungus Infection

Toenail fungus is known to be difficult to successfully treat. This is because the common treatments are topical creams which cannot effectively reach the infection. What works best are oral antifungal medication. It may take six months to about a year for the nail to grow back fully.


common foot infections: cellulitis

Example of cellulitis

Cellulitis is among the most serious foot infections that you should be aware of. The infection begins on one part and can spread to other tissues. It can cause pain and swelling. Cellulitis is known to form red streaks that move upward coming from the foot.

Symptoms of Cellulitis

Such streaks are called lymphangitis. This happens when the infection begins to migrate toward your lymph nodes. When it does reach the lymph nodes, it can cause infections that can be very dangerous. You can experience body aches, chills, and high fever, all of which are signs that you have a serious infection.

Causes of Cellulitis

Cellulitis can develop in a person’s foot if he or she has been exposed to Streptococcus or S. aureus People who are also prone to cellulitis are those who have broken skin, have diabetes, or have poor circulation of blood. The most common causes of cellulitis are Streptococcus and S. aureus.

Take note this condition is considered to be a medical emergency. Don’t wait for your symptoms to get worse. Once you start seeing red streaks coming from your foot, seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor will most likely put you under a course of antibiotics to treat the infection. Make sure that you finish the whole course for the treatment to be completed successfully.

Final Thoughts

These are the three most common foot infections that you should be aware of. If you feel or see anything strange on your feet, especially between the toes and under the toenails, it would be best if you go to a foot doctor like Dr Kourosh Harounian so that your condition can be examined.

If you have one of the common foot infections, then it should be addressed immediately so that you won’t have to endure the discomforts such as itchiness and pain. Also, don’t wait for your symptoms to get worse even if you think they’re negligible. Just like cellulitis, it may affect the whole body as a result. Seek medical attention as soon as you can.

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Dr. Kourosh

As a highly experienced and trained foot doctor based out of Los Angeles who is actively involved in research I try to utilize the most recent information and technology in clinical application to all of my podiatry patients for all ages.
Dr. Kourosh
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