Foot Care

Abscess in Foot

Abscess in the foot

is collection of puss under the skin of foot. It may be spotted at distal interphalangeal tissues or joints. The incidence is sporadic and it is seen that about 15% of the population gets affected by this during the lifespan. This article gives information on the causes and treatment of abscess in foot.

What is an Abscess:

Abscess is defined as cavity of puss which is constituted by necrotised tissue. Puss is dead neutrophils. It is caused due to infection by bacteria or parasites. The cavity is formed by the skin tissue as a defensive reaction to prevent the spread of infection to the other parts of the body.

Causes of Abscess in foot:

Abscess is caused by bacterial infection, wound infection, chronic steroid therapy, boils, insect bite and folliculitis. The bacteria that causes abscess are Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus.

Bacteria causing abscess in foot are Fusobacterium necrophorum and Arcanobacterium (Actinomyces) pyogenes.

The bacteria causing abscess enters the skin through injury to skin or may cracks in the skin. Foot is the common place for injury and cut, thus foot is more prone to develop abscess. It is seen that foot abscess commonly develop as a complication of ovine interdigital dermatitis.

Treatment of Foot Abscess:

  • Foot abscess can be treated conservatively or surgically depending on the severity of the abscess.
  • Conservative treatments include warm soaks and moist heat applications that help in alleviate pain associated with abscess formation. The affected foot should be in rest and stay off for sometime.
  • Antibiotics are the medical treatment for abscess. They again are given according to severity. Oral antibiotics may not enough for one which are severe and deep.
  • Drainage of the abscess can be another option if the infection does not resolve. It is treated surgically by completely removing the abscess by administrating intravenous antibiotics. The wound that is formed by surgery is further treated by keeping it clean and monitored with first aid care.

Symptoms of Abscess in Foot:

Some of the symptoms of abscess in the foot are:

  • Abscess is a red colored tender compressible mass, which is warm to touch and is painful.
  • As the abscess progresses, it develops a head which opens or ruptures spontaneously.
  • If the proper care of the abscess is not properly taken care of then they become worse and the infection could spread to the tissues present under the skin and even into the blood stream.
  • In case the infection spreads deep into the skin then the patient will develop fever and begins to fall ill.

Prevention of Abscess in Foot:

Some of the tips of prevention of abscess in foot are:

  • A good personal hygiene must be maintained by cleaning your skin with the help of soap and water regularly.
  • Avoid shaving of your underarms, public area yourself.
  • In case wounds are punctured then make sure that you seek immediate medical help, especially when there is some debris left behind in it.

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