How to Prevent and Treat a Foot Infection

Two summers ago, I spent a lot of time walking around barefoot. At that time, I did not have access to Mindinsole shoes to take care of my feet.  Nothing unusual about that; it’s my habit to go barefoot. I hate shoes. Unfortunately, going barefoot left me wide open for cuts and scrapes on my feet. I’ve had cuts and scrapes before, and usually the cut heals right up and goes away without even leaving a scar. Sadly, last summer, that was not the case.

I ended up with a bacterial infection. Of course, at the time, I had no idea it was a bacterial infection. It started off simply as a small cut that was taking too long to heal. Soon after, the cut became inflamed, and then was hot to the touch, turned reddish, and didn’t look as though it was going to heal any time soon.

Eventually, the infection worsened, and though I’d cleaned it, dressed it and put antibiotic creams on the cut, the infection spread and I had to go to the doctor. It was the absolute worst infection I’ve ever had to deal with, and ended up with me in the hospital for IV antibiotics.

If I’d gone to the doctor sooner, or cared for the cut sooner, something, I could have avoided all of that. So that’s why I wanted to talk to you today about how to care for a foot infection, whether you have a cut or not, and let you know when you should go to the doctor.

Prevent Foot Infections

The best way to deal with foot infections is to prevent them altogether. Wear shoes any time you’ll be in a situation where your feet might get cut or scraped. Wash feet whenever you’ve walked barefoot before you put your shoes back on or when you come inside. If you do get cut, clean the cut immediately, preferably with antibiotic soap or a wash. Soap and water will do the trick if nothing else is available.

Watch Cuts on Feet Carefully to Prevent Foot Infections

If you do have a cut on your foot, keep it clean, keep it dry, and watch it closely. The cut can look perfectly normal for days, and flare up suddenly. Once infection sets in, the cut can worsen very quickly or it might take days. If you watch the cut closely, you’ll be able to tell if there is an infection much faster, before any symptoms of a foot infection happen.

Non-cut Foot Infections

Athlete’s foot, other fungal infections, and yeast infections can happen to the foot, even if there is no cut or fissure in the skin. Watch for signs of drying, itching, cracking, burning or any puss or weird growth or discharge from the skin, paying particular attention to the skin between the toes.

Using an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial wash as well as a cream or liquid (there are some sprays too that turn to powder or liquid) that are designed for fungal type of foot infections. These aren’t very expensive, and they work well, but for some fungal infections, they can take several works to work properly. Check with the pharmacist for the best choices for your fungal foot infection.

Bacterial Foot Infections

Unlike fungal or yeast infections of the foot, bacterial infections, particularly gram negative bacterial infections (like the kind I had), can be serious, and can become more serious very quickly.

It is impossible to know for sure if you have a bacterial infection of the foot or a fungal infection of the foot without seeing a doctor. Even the doctor will likely want to do a test to see for sure what type of infection is causing the problem. If the fungal infection over the counter treatments are not working or showing improvement within a week, it’s important to see a qualified health professional to determine if you have a more serious bacterial foot infection.

Antibiotics – Oral and Topical – to Treat Foot Infections

Your doctor will likely to a test to determine what type of foot infection you have. He or she will then prescribe some type of antibiotics to fight the infection from the inside, and might prescribe antibiotic topical ointment, creams or liquid for treating the infection from the outside.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter, and continue taking all the antibiotics, even if the infection appears to be clearing up. Your feet are a long way down from your heart, and that blood carrying the antibiotics has to reach your foot and circulate through to kill the infection. You must give it time to do that properly.

Elevate Feet to Help Treat Foot Infections

It’s important when fighting a foot infection that you keep your feet elevated as much as possible. This will help improve circulation, carrying antibiotics to the site of the infections faster and spreading the infection to other parts of the body where the antibiotics can fight it much better.

Soaking Feet is Good for Treating Foot Infections

Ask your doctor before soaking your feet, but my doctor asked me to soak my feet in warm to hot water three times per day to help increase circulation and warmth to the foot to better help fight the infection. Just be sure to dry your feet completely before walking on them again.

The main and most important part of treating a foot infection is to keep the foot clean and watch for any signs of the infection worsening. A foot infection can creep up the leg and cause damage to the skin from the inside out and from the outside in. Flesh and tissue can be destroyed by the infection, and that’s permanent.

Taking care of a foot infection is so very important and I urge each of you to careful watch your feet and prevent infections whenever possible. Read this article about good foot care to help prevent infection and keep your feet healthy and sexy.

Julia

Julia

Julia Arostegi lives in California USA. She took Developmental Communication at the University of California and finished her studies in 2012. She is currently the managing director of California Magazine. She is also a blogger, content enthusiast and a photographer.