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Minor Foot Problems Seeing More MRSA Infections

Posted: June 11, 2009

Skin care professionals, and particular those that offer pedicures and other foot-related treatments, should be aware of the rise in MRSA infections being seen.

More Americans are developing drug-resistant staph infections, known as MRSA, 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). Foot and ankle surgeons are noting an increase in community-associated MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

MRSA linked to athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails

“If you have a cut or a scrape that gets infected and it’s not healing in a timely fashion, don’t hesitate to get it checked out,” said Karl Collins, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon in St. Louis. Dr. Collins said he’s diagnosed community-associated MRSA infections in patients with athlete’s foot, and even a six-year-old who stubbed his toe.

Brandi Johnson, DPM, AACFAS, estimates treating 20 patients for community-associated MRSA last year. The Brandon, Florida foot and ankle surgeon says half of those patients had infected ingrown toenails. Puncture wounds, pedicures and cuts from glass and seashells caused the rest of the infections.