Cellulitis of the foot


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Cellulitis of the foot

About the treatment

Cellulitis of the foot

What it foot cellulitis?

Foot cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that affects the deeper layers of the skin and the underlying tissues. It's characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain in the affected area. Cellulitis commonly occurs on the lower legs and feet, but it can affect other parts of the body as well.

How to know I have foot cellulitis?

You might suspect you have foot cellulitis if you notice the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Redness and Swelling: The affected area, usually the foot or lower leg, appears red, inflamed, and swollen. The redness might spread rapidly.
  2. Pain and Tenderness: Experience pain or tenderness in the affected area, especially when pressure is applied or with movement.
  3. Warmth: The skin in the affected area may feel warm to the touch compared to the surrounding skin.
  4. Skin Changes: Notice changes in the texture of the skin, such as tightness, shiny appearance, or the development of blisters or small pockets of fluid.
  5. Fever and Chills: In some cases, individuals with cellulitis may experience fever, chills, or a general feeling of illness.
  6. Lymph Node Swelling: Nearby lymph nodes may become swollen and tender to the touch.

What causes foot cellulitis?

Foot cellulitis typically occurs when bacteria, commonly Staphylococcus or Streptococcus species, enter the skin through breaks or openings, leading to infection and inflammation in the deeper layers of the skin and underlying tissues. Several factors can contribute to the development of foot cellulitis:

  1. Skin Breaks or Wounds: Any break in the skin barrier, such as cuts, scrapes, insect bites, ulcers, cracks due to dry skin, or pre-existing skin conditions like athlete's foot, can allow bacteria to enter and cause infection.
  2. Foot Injuries: Trauma or injuries to the foot, including puncture wounds or wounds incurred during outdoor activities, can provide entry points for bacteria.
  3. Poor Circulation: Conditions that impair blood flow to the feet, such as peripheral vascular disease or venous insufficiency, can make individuals more susceptible to infections like cellulitis.
  4. Weakened Immune System: Health conditions that weaken the immune system, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or certain medications that suppress the immune response, can increase the risk of developing cellulitis.
  5. Lymphatic Issues: Problems with the lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining excess fluids and fighting infections, can increase the risk of cellulitis.
  6. Previous Episodes of Cellulitis: Individuals who have had cellulitis previously are at higher risk of recurrence.

How is foot cellulitis treated?

Treatment for foot cellulitis typically involves antibiotics to eradicate the bacterial infection and measures to alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Here are common approaches used in managing cellulitis:

  1. Antibiotics: Oral antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment for cellulitis. The choice of antibiotic depends on the severity of the infection and the individual's medical history. It's essential to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed by a healthcare professional.
  2. Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation associated with cellulitis.
  3. Elevation: Keeping the affected foot elevated above the level of the heart when sitting or lying down can help reduce swelling and promote better circulation.
  4. Rest and Immobilization: Resting the affected foot and minimizing movement can aid in reducing discomfort and allowing the body to fight the infection.
  5. Wound Care: Keeping the affected area clean and dry, using mild soap and water, and applying an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment or cream to the wound, if present, can promote healing.
  6. Follow-up Care: It's crucial to follow up with a healthcare professional to ensure the infection is responding to treatment and to monitor for any signs of worsening or complications.

In severe cases of cellulitis, hospitalization may be necessary, especially if the infection doesn't respond to oral antibiotics, if there are signs of systemic illness, or if the individual has a weakened immune system. In a hospital setting, intravenous antibiotics can be administered for more aggressive treatment.

Seeking prompt medical attention if you suspect cellulitis is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. Delaying treatment can lead to complications or the spread of infection. Adhering to the prescribed treatment regimen and attending follow-up appointments are essential for effective management and resolution of foot cellulitis.



Cellulitis of the foot

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Cellulitis of the foot

Patient succes stories

Review 3

Joanne K.

Dr. Salvatore Gaudino is a miracle worker.  I had problems walking for more than five years, NOT any more.  I went to countless Specialists… One of the luckiest days of my life is when I made an appointment with him!  He is truly amazing.  The great office staff is welcoming.  What a great experience.  Thank you ALL!

Review 2

Jessica D.

Dr. Gaudino examined my son and explained to me exactly what he needed to correct his “turned feet”, as well as showing me some exercises to relieve the tension in his feet. He was so nice and caring towards my son, and really made him feel at ease. I would definitely recommend this practice to my friends and family!