Graveyard Shift

These Horrifying Foot Infections Might Be Brewing In Your Socks Right Now

If you already thought that feet were kind of nasty, things are about to get a whole lot worse. A cesspool of bacteria can grow on your feet, causing foot infections and diseases. Some of these creepy body antagonists look weird and feel painful. Seriously, athlete's foot is mild compared to the smelly pus that can ooze out of viral blisters or diabetic ulcers.

Start mentally preparing for the worst types of foot diseases to be forever implanted in your brain. Don't worry too much, though. Almost everything can be treated and managed really well these days, but if you wait too long, you may be in trouble.

  • Pitted Keratolysis Is A Bacterial Skin Condition Causing Smelly Erosions

    Pitted Keratolysis Is A Bacterial Skin Condition Causing Smelly Erosions
    Photo: Evan Saap / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    Okay, this is something no one talks about: little erosions on the feet that sometimes cause a terrible odor. There's a name for it; pitted keratolysis. Similar to athlete's foot, these erosions are often caused by a lack of ventilation to the feet, or not washing them well after being out in public with no shoes on.

    It is easily treated with antifungal creams, and in bad cases, oral antibiotics.

  • Dyshidrotic Eczema Causes Nasty Foot Blisters

    Dyshidrotic Eczema Causes Nasty Foot Blisters
    Photo: La belle morte / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Eczema is a common skin condition that causes itchy rashes, but add 'dyshidrotic' in front and the two words become a mystery. Basically, dyshidrotic eczema adds blisters into the equation. According to the National Eczema Association, they can last up to three weeks and be very discomforting and painful. This type of eczema is caused by allergies and stress, and it gets worse in the spring when allergies are at their worst.

    Unfortunately, there's no cure for dyshidrotic eczema, but it can be managed and treated with topical medications to ease the intense itching. When the blisters are really bad, it helps to dip the hands or feet into cool water and moisturize them afterward.

  • Diabetic Foot Ulcers Can Lead To Permanent Disfigurement

    Not everyone with diabetes will get diabetic foot ulcers, but the American Podiatric Medical Association notes that about 15% will. As it sounds, it's an ulcer on the sole of the foot. Diabetes patients are susceptible to them because of their disrupted blood flow and blood sugar levels.

    These ulcers can be smelly and painful to walk on, and if they're not cleaned and treated they can cause bone infections and permanent disfigurement, affecting the patient's mobility.

  • Fungal Nail Infections Cause Discoloration And Disfigurement

    There are tons of different fungal infections out there that affect the toenails (the technical term is onychomycosis), and they occur from fungi growing under the nails. Fungal nail infections can transform a healthy nail into something that looks marred. Nails get discolored, disfigured, and split. They can smell bad and even crumble at the edges.

    In the worst of the worse, they fall off completely. Thankfully, these nail infections are treatable with over-the-counter antifungal products, and shouldn't return once they've been nipped in the bud.