People suffer from infected feet for a wide variety of reasons. Bacteria might have infiltrated a wound, you might have been in contact with a fungus or virus, or you could have developed a problem due to an ingrown toenail or a blister. Although a regular foot infection can heal on its own, you will need to consult a specialist in Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC if you have recurring issues or your infection doesn’t clear up after a few days.

What Can Cause an Infection in the Foot?

Various organisms cause infected feet. Anyone can suffer from this condition, but it is more common in people who have an underlying health issue such as diabetes or those who are obese. If you’re worried about your foot health, don’t hesitate to reach out to Island Foot Clinics. We’re here to help you get rid of your infection.

A Wound or Injury

If you have an open wound, you have to be very careful because pathogens can enter your body and cause an infection. Several types of bacteria and viruses can infect you, but one of the most common issues is called bacterial cellulitis, caused by a Streptococcus bacterium. The symptoms are redness, swelling, pain, and tenderness when the area is touched.

Cellulitis is common in people who either got injured or had surgery on their feet, but it isn’t contagious. It can be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics, which kill the harmful bacteria. Your doctor might also advise you to keep your leg elevated to reduce swelling and avoid walking long distances or doing exercise while your infection heals.


People with diabetes have raised blood sugar levels, which reduces the sensation in their feet. Because this means that they don’t feel pain as much, they are more at risk of common foot problems, including infections. When a person with diabetes gets injured, they might not notice right away and therefore fail to clean the wound. This means that pathogens can spread much more easily.

Patients who have diabetes are advised to eat a healthy diet, remain active, and inspect their feet every day to check that there are no issues. You might also benefit from having regular appointments at a foot clinic. Your Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC doctor can give you tips about how to keep your feet healthy, and they will address any issues right away.

A Blister

Blisters are small pockets of fluid under your skin. They usually appear when you wear new shoes that don’t fit your feet very well, after wearing high heels or narrow-toed shoes, or when you walk far without using appropriate footwear. Usually, blisters aren’t a cause for concern, and if you avoid walking on them, they will heal independently.

However, they can lead to a foot infection if bacteria or other pathogens enter your body. Sometimes, they are also a symptom of a fungal infection like athlete’s foot. Infected blisters are red and tender, and the fluid inside them might be yellow or green instead of clear. Seek medical attention if you have an infected blister since it can lead to further foot issues.

Foot Fungus

Bacteria and viruses aren’t the only organisms that can infect your feet. A very common issue is foot fungus, which either appears on the flesh of the feet, for example, in the form of athlete’s foot, or on the toenails. You might have athlete’s foot if you have itchy, white patches in between your toes, red skin, and cracked or bleeding feet.

Toenail fungus makes your nails yellow, thick, and crumbly. This condition doesn’t usually cause damage to the feet, but it can be unpleasant. For this reason, many people get foot fungus treated with antifungal gels, sprays, creams, or lotions. Your doctor can help you determine which formula will work best for you.

An Ingrown Nail

When you cut your nail too short or you leave a sharp edge, it can grow into your skin and potentially cause an infection. You’ll know that you have an ingrown and infected nail if you feel pain, the area is swollen, or there is pus. Ingrown nails can usually be treated at home. You might need to soak your foot in warm water, avoid wearing tight shoes, and keep your feet dry for most of the day.

Over time, the nail will grow out, and the infection will heal. If this isn’t the case and you’re still in pain after several days, you’ll need to see a specialist. The foot doctor can cut away the part of the nail that is causing the problem, administer antibiotics to clear up the infection, or even cut away the whole nail if the problem is very severe.

A Plantar Wart

People who have a small, rough growth on their heels or balls of the feet might be suffering from plantar warts. This kind of infection is caused by the HPV virus, which enters the skin through tiny breaks or cracks. Often, plantar warts go away on their own, especially in children, but you should make an appointment with a foot doctor if you’ve tried home remedies and they haven’t worked.

It’s also important to reach out as soon as you notice changes to your plantar warts, for example, if they become painful or start bleeding. People with a weak immune system or those with diabetes will need to see their doctor to make sure there are no complications.

How Do I Prevent a Foot Infection?

The best way to avoid foot problems is to practice good hygiene. This includes not walking barefoot in public places such as swimming pools and communal showers, keeping your feet as dry as possible, cleaning and disinfecting wounds right away, and cutting or filing nails regularly. You can also reduce your risk of problems by wearing the right kinds of shoes.

Footwear that pinches your feet or rubs against your skin can cause blisters, which can then become infected. What’s more, bad shoes slow down the healing process if you already have an infection and cause a lot of pain.

Do I Need to See a Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC Foot Doctor?

If you have diabetes or a condition that affects your immune system, it’s best to see your doctor as soon as you develop a problem with your feet. Otherwise, you can try to treat your infection at home. Use over-the-counter painkillers, soak your feet in water, avoid wearing bad shoes or exercising too much, and regularly disinfect any wounds.

After three to five days, you should notice that your symptoms are improving. If not, it’s time to visit a specialist who will examine your feet, let you know what the problem is, and find the right remedy. They will also tell you how you can avoid similar issues in the future.

Feet can get infected after an injury, after contact with a fungus or virus, or due to an ingrown nail. They can often be treated at home, but if they are causing pain or recurring frequently, you could benefit from speaking to a specialist. Reach out to us at Island Foot Clinics and make an appointment at our Kelowna, BC or Victoria, BC offices. We’ll be happy to diagnose your foot infection and help you find the correct treatment.