Diabetic Foot Infections

Any time a break in the skin occurs, bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens can enter and cause an infection. The foot is an especially rich source of bacteria and invading microorganisms, because your shoes provide them a perfect environment in which to live. Therefore, any time you notice a lesion, ulcer, cut, or sore on your feet, you need to take prompt action to prevent infection. A foot ulcer is the most likely source of infection in the foot. When an ulcer becomes infected, microorganisms can eat through layers of skin and bone tissue to create a deep hole. When the infection spreads or becomes too deep, amputation may be needed.


Symptoms of an infected ulcer include fever, redness, swelling, warmth around the wound, and any sort of drainage or oozing of pus-like material. There aren't as many symptoms for infections as there are for other foot problems, but they are still as serious.

Risks for contracting an infection

An infected ulcer can eat away at your soft tissue and make its way into the bone. If the infection is deep, a part of the foot or even the entire foot or leg may have to be removed to save your life.

If you have been diagnosed with, or have symptoms of foot infections:

If you notice any signs of infection in a foot ulcer, notify your doctor or podiatrist right away. You need to be seen at once before the infection spreads further. If the infection is not severe, you will be treated on an outpatient basis, but you should be seen every 2 or 3 days for the first week or so. Most infections will show some improvement in a few days. If you have a soft-tissue infection, you will need advanced care from your podiatrist or a qualified wound care specialist. Signs of a worsening infection include fever or an elevation in an existing fever, increased pain, redness, warmth, or pus formation. Avoiding walking on your infected foot. If you need to get around, consider using a pair of crutches or even a wheelchair. If you notice any swelling, keep your leg elevated.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms addressed, we strongly recommend that you seek the advice of your podiatrist for proper diagnosis.