Foot infections may occur after trauma to the foot, loss of tissue because of contamination from foreign material and/or invasion of bacteria or fungus. They most commonly occur in patients with diabetes because of loss of sensation (neuropathy) and compromised blood supply to the feet. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the feet. Plantar warts occur as painful callus-like growth on the bottom of the feet and are caused by viral infection.
Common foot infections include:
Diabetic Foot: Diabetic foot infection is one of the common problems of diabetes. Increased blood sugar level can damage nerves and blood vessels, resulting in loss of sensation in the feet. Because of loss of sensation, foot injuries can occur and if the wounds are not taken care of, they can cause ulcers and infections.
Athlete’s Foot: It is an infection of the feet caused by fungus. It occurs when the fungus grows and multiplies in the feet. The skin between the toes is cracked or peeled, usually appears red and may be itchy.
Gangrene: It is a frequent complication of diabetic foot. It occurs because of the death of tissues because of decreased blood supply to the extremities (legs). It is generally caused by bacterial infection or thrombosis (blocked blood vessel).
Cellulitis: It is a sign of spread of infection to the soft tissues of the foot. It most commonly occurs in the lower part of the leg (tibia or shin bone) and is caused by bacteria. It usually begins as small wound in the skin causing swelling and redness and later spreads to the deeper tissues and adjacent area.
Osteomyelitis: It is a common bone infection in the foot caused by bacteria or fungi. Infection may spread to the bone from overlying skin or soft tissue infections through the blood supply.