Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as staph bacteria, is a type of bacteria that can be found on the skin or in the nostrils of a healthy person. While these bacteria are usually harmless, they can cause serious illness and, if infected, can lead to staph infections. In recent years, certain types of staph bacteria, such as drug-resistant MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), have become more common in high-traffic community areas, increasing the likelihood of contracting a staph infection in public environments.
Staph infections of the foot are common and can lead to more serious health problems if not treated promptly. Those who walk barefoot and are susceptible to minor foot problems, such as cuts, cracks in the skin, athlete’s foot, eczema, ingrown toenails, puncture wounds, or corns and calluses, may be at higher risk for infection because these conditions can cause minor tears in the skin that can act as portals for bacteria to enter the body.
It is important to take simple steps to help prevent community-associated MRSA infections, according to foot and ankle surgeons. Washing and bandaging cuts and seeing a doctor within 24 hours for any puncture wounds can help prevent infection. In addition, it is recommended that individuals do not perform “bathroom surgeries” to cut or dig out an ingrown toenail, and keep feet clean and dry to prevent fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot.
If you have a cut or scrape that becomes red or swollen and is not healing in a timely manner, do not hesitate to see a foot and ankle surgeon for an examination. In most cases, the first line of treatment for staph infections of the foot is antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, surgical intervention may also be necessary.
Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM is an expert in the treatment of staph infections of the foot. If you suspect that you may have a staph infection or have a foot condition that could put you at risk for infection, contact Dr. Huang today to schedule an appointment. He can help diagnose and treat your condition, while also providing guidance on steps to take to prevent foot infections in the future. Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek medical attention for a foot infection, as early detection and treatment can be key to a full recovery.