Staph infections are very common and can occur anywhere on the body, including the feet. This type of infection is caused by a bacteria called staphylococcus aureus (staph), which can enter through cuts or scrapes in the skin. If left untreated, a staph infection can lead to serious health risks, so it’s important to take precautions and be aware of the signs and symptoms of this type of foot infection. Our experienced podiatrists discuss the steps to take if you think you have a staph infection and recommend treatment based on your specific needs.
Causes and Signs of a Staph Infection on Your Feet
Staph infections on the feet occur when bacteria enter the foot through a cut, scrape, or wound in the skin. The most common causes of a foot staph infection include:
- Having a diabetic foot infection
- Walking barefoot in public areas such as locker rooms or swimming pool decks
- Having a cut or wound on the foot
- Not treating conditions such as athlete’s foot or ingrown toenails
- Touching or sharing an item with a person who is infected with staph
Common Symptoms of a Foot Staph Infection
- Tenderness to the touch
- Pain at the site of the infection
- Pus-filled blisters
If any of these signs are present in combination with other symptoms such as fever and chills or difficulty breathing or wheezing, seek medical attention immediately.
How Texas Podiatrists Treat a Staph Infection
A staph infection on the foot can be extremely painful. If left untreated, it can spread to other areas of the body and cause serious health problems. Extreme cases of staph infections can cause serious complications such as sepsis and even death.
To diagnose a staph infection, a podiatrist will examine your feet and review your medical history. Lab tests such as blood work or cultures from the affected area may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis of a staph infection.
If there is any chance that the infection has spread beyond just the skin and into deeper tissues, bones, or organs in your body, imaging tests such as X-rays or MRIs may be required for further diagnosis and treatment planning purposes. These tests provide detailed images that allow doctors to get an accurate picture of the infection, so they can plan an appropriate course of action.
- Antibiotics can be taken either orally or intravenously, depending on the severity of the infection
- Topical ointments or creams
- Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with pain
- Use of lancing to drain the infected area
- Surgery may also be necessary to remove dead tissue from around the area of infection and help reduce the risk of the bacteria spreading further
- In the most severe cases where flesh-eating disease occurs, amputation may be needed to save your life
Make sure you follow all instructions given by your doctor, and take all medications as prescribed for the best results. If symptoms persist after treatment, reach out to your doctor right away, so they can provide appropriate care and advice regarding further steps that need to be taken.
Tips for Preventing a Staph Infection
The best way to prevent a staph infection on your feet is to practice good hygiene habits. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and avoid contact with people who have active skin infections. Additionally, it’s important to keep the following prevention tips in mind:
- For those patients with diabetes, check your feet daily for any signs of a problem or abnormality.
- Never wear the same pair of socks. Your feet create warmth and moisture, and both allow bacteria to grow. You shouldn’t wear the same pair of socks for successive workouts. Always wash them, and use a clean pair each time you exercise.
- Wear shower shoes or flip-flops when showering in public places such as gyms or walking around a public area such as a swimming pool.
- Don’t share personal items such as towels, razors, or shoes, as this could increase your risk of contracting an infection.
- If you have a wound on your foot or toe, be sure to keep it clean and covered, so bacteria cannot enter.
How to Choose a Podiatrist
If you are a foot patient in Texas with a staph infection, you want the best possible treatment. Before deciding on a podiatrist, do your research. You should check out reviews online as well as ask for recommendations from friends and family who have had a similar foot condition. It is also important to make sure your podiatrist has experience treating staph infections. You may want to set up a consultation to discuss your condition with a podiatrist before agreeing to any type of treatment.
If you have signs of a staph infection, contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for a consultation today. We have successfully treated skin and nail disorders and can create a treatment plan based on your specific needs. To request an appointment, contact our Grapevine or Keller office by filling out our convenient contact form or by calling our office at 817-481-4000.