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A foot infection can occur after an injury or wound to the skin. Signs of infection include increased pain, redness, swelling or warmth around the infected area. However infections can occur without a known injury to the affected area. Pain and swelling that occur without an injury and with redness, red streaking, tenderness, heat, fever, or pus may be caused by an infection.

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Signs & Symptoms of Infections

Diabetic foot infections typically take one of the following forms:

  • Cellulitis

  • Deep-skin and soft-tissue infections

  • Acute & Chronic osteomyelitis (inflammation of bone or marrow)


Cellulitis: Inflammation of connective tissue

  • Tender, reddening, nonraised skin lesions 

  • No ulcer or wound exudate is present


Deep-skin and soft-tissue infections

  • The patient may be acutely ill, with painful induration of the soft tissues in the extremity

  • Wound discharge is usually not present

  • Extreme pain and tenderness may indicate compartment syndrome or clostridial infection (ie, gas gangrene)

  • The tissues are not tense, and bullae may be present

  • Discharge, if present, is often foul

Infection is a sign that your body is fighting a disease. It's critically important to seek medical attention early on to prevent the worsening of the issue and infection.


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