Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin that frequently affects the lower extremities including the feet. The usual bacterial causes of cellulitis include group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pneumoniae.
Sustaining injuries to the foot such as a crack on the heel or athlete’s foot provides an entry point for the bacteria. The signs of foot cellulitis can rapidly worsen and requires prompt medical care.
What are the skin symptoms?
Foot cellulitis often results to swelling and redness. The redness can radiate up the leg if the bacteria moves via the bloodstream. If there are red-colored streaks moving towards the heart, it is also an indication that the infection is spreading.
In case the foot feels warm to the touch or the skin on the foot is blistering, reddened or has a slightly pitted appearance, it is an indication of cellulitis. Small-sized, reddened dots which is called as petechiae might be present on top of the reddened region. If the foot turns black, there is significant damage to the tissues and requires immediate medical care.
Foot cellulitis can trigger intense discomfort, particularly if the foot is affected where the excess buildup of fluid arises from the swelling. In most cases, walking can be unbearable, and the skin might be tender to the touch.
Additionally, the lymph nodes in the leg might be tender if touched once the infection has spread. If the individual had repeated infections, it can permanently impair the lymph nodes in the leg. Raising the foot helps lessen the pain and swelling.
What are the systemic effects?
Generally, fever is a usual effect of foot cellulitis as the body tries to fight the infection. In case the infection becomes worse or spreads to the leg, chills might occur. In some instances, individuals with foot cellulitis might have a rapid heart rate and appear lethargic. In addition, confusion and a headache might also be present.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on foot cellulitis is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.