Foot cellulitis: What is it? When to be concerned and how to prevent it

A frequent bacterial skin and soft tissue infection is called cellulitis. Each year, there are around 14 million instances of cellulitis in the United States. Even though it is frequently superficial, if neglected, it can develop into something severe and even fatal.

Although cellulitis can affect any area of the body, it most frequently affects the legs, foot, and toes. Cellulitis is a painful condition that initially appears as a swiftly spreading, discolored region of skin. Your foot or lower leg's infected area will feel hot to the touch or sensitive. If the infection isn't treated, it may spread to the lymph nodes or bloodstream, so get in touch with your doctor right away if you experience any symptoms.


As a bacterial skin infection, cellulitis exhibits the same symptoms as any other illness. Warning signs to look out for include:

  • Pain and sensitivity
  • Swelling or erythema
  • Rashes or sores that spread quickly
  • Swelling and expanding discoloration
  • Fever


Staphylococcus (staph) and Streptococcus are the two most frequent bacterial species that cause cellulitis (strep). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a more dangerous, antibiotic-resistant staph infection, is becoming more common, which makes treatment alternatives more challenging. Through injured skin, these germs go into the body.

Cellulitis risk factors include:

  • Bug bites and stings
  • Animal or human bites
  • Skin disorders like eczema
  • Weak blood flow
  • Lymphedema (issues with the lymphatic system) (problems with the lymphatic system)
  • Chronic lower leg swelling (edema)
  • Illnesses that compromise the immune system

Can cellulitis be caused by athlete's foot?

Simply said, absolutely. Although athlete's foot is a fungal infection rather than a bacterial one, it can occasionally result in blisters and cracks. Bacteria that cause cellulitis can enter the body through these skin breaks.

 What is cellulitis of the diabetic foot?

Diabetes can raise your risk of cellulitis even if it is not a direct cause. Diabetes weakens your immune system, which raises your risk of infection generally. To make matters worse, cellulitis risk is increased by diabetic neuropathy in the foot.

If diabetes patients' foot cellulitis is not treated right away, it can quickly get worse. Because diabetic neuropathy causes a lack of pain perception, foot injuries may go unreported.


Infections are dangerous, therefore you should seek medical attention as soon as you notice any symptoms.

Cellulitis can spread to other parts of your body and into the bloodstream if it is not treated. Additionally, untreated cellulitis may progress to sepsis, sometimes referred to as "blood poisoning," or endocarditis (inflammation of the heart).


Cellulitis is an unpleasant and dangerous condition, but it can potentially be avoided. Although there isn't a vaccine to protect against these bacteria, cellulitis can be avoided by taking good care of your wounds. Follow these safety measures if your foot or leg is hurt:

Regularly wash the skin injury with warm water and mild soap.

  1. Every day, apply a new bandage to the wound. Contrary to what you may have heard, an open wound doesn't actually need to "air out"!
  2. Keep an eye out for infection indications.
  3. Regularly check for any redness, discomfort, or pus. Call your doctor if you see any infection-related symptoms.
  4. Wear comfortable and high-quality DrLuigi medical footwear.

Protecting your feet is another strategy to avoid getting cellulitis foot infection. Simple preventive foot care involves:

  • Effective skin care. Regularly moisturizing your feet with lotions or ointments helps to avoid cracks and infection.
  • Suitable footwear. Your feet are shielded from debris, rocks, and stubbed toes by shoes. Chafing and blisters are avoided with properly fitting footwear.
  • Maintain your nails. Sharp toenails can slash the toes next to them, allowing bacteria to enter. Ingrown toenails and other nail problems might raise your risk of infection.
  • Daily observation. Diabetic patients and those with nerve loss should regularly check their feet for new wounds, scratches, blisters, and ulcers.


In order to rule out other skin conditions like erysipelas or dermatitis, we will first inspect the affected area (a less severe form of cellulitis). To pinpoint the precise source of the illness, we could take a sample from the afflicted skin.

Oral antibiotics are the initial line of treatment for cellulitis. In severe situations, surgery or intravenous antibiotics may be necessary.

If you have an abscess, we can expertly drain it for you. You risk reinfection if you try to drain an abscess yourself.

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