Bacterial Infections –Athlete’s Foot, Warts, Foot Infections 101
The skin is the largest organ on our bodies. It covers every inch of us and we have to protect it and take good care of it. When we go to the doctor’s office they often tell us to take our clothes off and hop on to their examination table, but you can leave your socks on. Why? Do we not have problems with our feet? Should they not be checked too? No matter how clean they are, our feet encounter so many traumas on a daily basis and they come into contact with all sorts of organisms that it’s important to take good care of them and make sure they are in good condition.
We, as foot specialists, often see kids and adults coming into our offices for infections on their feet. But did you know there is more than one type of infection? Bacteria, fungus, and viruses can all wreak havoc on our skin when it comes to our feet.
Athlete’s Foot/Tinea Pedis
A fungus infection of the foot is often referred to as Athlete’s Foot, or tinea pedis. It causes redness, itching, peeling, burning, and sometimes blisters and sores. It’s often found in between the toes but can also appear on the rest of the foot. It is caused by microscopic fungus found on dead tissue of our skin, hair, and nails. It grows best in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools, locker rooms, socks, shoes, and public showers. Athlete’s Foot is not the only fungal infection that can occur in the feet; but is the most common. Toenail fungus or skin infection can result. It can easily be treated with a topical antifungal cream prescribed by your foot specialist. In more severe cases, an oral medication may be necessary.
A fungus infection of the foot is often referred to as Athlete’s Foot, or tinea pedis. It causes redness, itching, peeling, burning, and sometimes blisters and sores.
Bacterial Infections from an Ingrown Toenail
A bacterial infection can sometimes be difficult to avoid. It is almost impossible to escape the presence of bacteria. Although our immune system usually keeps infections at bay, sometimes bacteria can enter our skin and cause an infection. One of the most commonly seen bacterial infections seen in children is due to an ingrown toenail. This occurs when the edge of the nail presses up against the skin next to it and punctures it. It can be painful and an abscess, a pus filled pocket, develops. The offending piece of nail has to be removed in order for the infection to be cleared. Simple bacterial infections can be treated topically with either over the counter or prescription anti-bacterial creams. In more serious infections an oral antibiotic medication will have to be used.
One of the most commonly seen bacterial infections seen in children is due to an ingrown toenail.
Warts/Viral Foot Infections
The most commonly seen viral infection in children’s feet is a planter’s wart. These are little growths that develop on the skin and can be difficult to treat. Like a fungal infection, viruses such as a wart thrive in a moist and warm environment. Unlike Athlete’s Foot, plantar wart removal may prove difficult with a simple cream. It is important to always prevent infection of any kind by protecting your feet; wear flip flops or shower shoes around public pools and showers, change wet socks and shoes immediately, or ask your foot specialist about a treatment for overly sweaty feet. For more on warts check this out.
The most commonly seen viral infection in children’s feet is a planter’s wart.
Although types of infections are not limited to the one mentioned here, these are the most common types of infections that can affect children. It is nearly impossible to go your entire life without catching a cold no matter how healthy you are, so it is likely that you may develop a skin infection on your feet too. Know what to look for. Know who to go to for help. Know how to prevent it.
Find the best shoes for your child here.
Does your child have foot pain? See here for possible causes.