MRSA Linked to Common Foot Conditions

May 28, 2009

Researchers are finding that more Americans are developing drug-resistant staph infections, from "common, relatively minor foot problems such as cuts, cracks in the skin, athlete's foot and ingrown toenails," as well as "an increase in community-associated MRSA."

Researchers are finding that more Americans are developing drug-resistant staph infections, from “common, relatively minor foot problems such as cuts, cracks in the skin, athlete’s foot and ingrown toenails, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS),” as well as “an increase in community-associated MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.”

Because of the prevalence of MRSA (1 in 3 people carry the bacteria), minor tears in the skin’s surface can make it very easy to contract the bacteria. This seems to explain why conditions such as athlete’s foot, eczema, and psoriasis, in addition to other common foot conditions, make it easy for patients to become infected. The article, which has been adapted from materials provided by the ACFAS, contains some tips from foot and ankle surgeons that should help patients prevent community-associated MRSA infections. Among the tips are the following:

• Wash and bandage cuts.

• See a doctor within 24 hours for any puncture wound.

• Never perform “bathroom surgeries” to cut or dig out an ingrown toenail.

• Keep feet clean and dry to prevent fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.

Direct patients to learn more about this problem to the consumer website maintained by the ACFAS, www.footphysicians.com.