Dr. Theall's Blog

Posts for tag: infection

By Dr. Bruce Theall
November 11, 2015
Category: Diabetes
Tags: diabetes   infection   skin conditions  

Within the past week we have learned that NY Giants football tight end Daniel Fells was hospitalized with an infection in his foot.  He was diagnosed with having MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, which is a serious potentially life-threatening infection.  MRSA is caused by the bacteria staphylococcus aureus and it is most commonly found on the skin and in the nasopharynx or the back of throat.  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become the leading cause of healthcare associated infections since the 1970s while just as recently as the 1990s has it emerged as a of infection in the community setting.  It has been suspected that the infection in Daniel Fells case came from the locker room or training rooms, but the source is still not definitive.  Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacterial infection that is resistant to certain antibiotics.  Over the past several decades, MRSA has gone from being a controllable condition limited mostly to hospitals and healthcare facilities to a serious public health concern.

There are 2 major categories of infections with the transferring of a MRSA; it can come from community acquired infections (CA-MRSA), these infections of MRSA in patients who lack risk factors, can be linked with those in urban areas children in day care and prison inmates.  Most infections manifest as skin and soft tissue infections or dermatological lesions.  The second type of MRSA infections can occur by hospital acquired (H-MRSA) infections with MRSA, mostly from tobacco use and diabetes.   In the hospital setting, patients that have been hospitalized for long-term care, have had surgery, have indwelling devices, have had dialysis, or have a history of MRSA are at greater risk of acquiring an infection.   In the community (CA-MRSA) we can see spread through a wide range of activities, but usually occurring when in crowded or more densely populated areas.  Some examples are playing sports that have close contact, in correctional facilities, daycares, individuals who have received tattoos.

MRSA and CA-MRSA are transmitted by direct contact with someone who has an active infection, someone who is a carrier, or a contaminated object.  MRSA can occur in a few different ways, touching skin of a person who is already colonized or has an active infection, breathing droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected individual, or even touching a contaminated surface.  Some common contaminated surfaces in the hospital include bed side rails, blood pressure cuffs, toilet seats, and remote controls. Spread via contaminated surfaces is usually more commonly seen in CA-MRSA.  These occur with the use of shared items, such as towels, bedding, and sports equipment.

Once infected, signs and symptoms do not usually have an immediate onset.  It usually takes 1 to 10 days for symptoms to start.  It will appear as a skin infection and is often mistaken for a spider bite.  The site of infection usually appears red, swollen, warm, and painful.  The infected sites are commonly at sites on that skin that have already encountered skin trauma.  These sites allow the infection to adhere and colonize easier since the skin surface is exposed.

The treatment of MRSA depends on severity.  In less severe cases,  the patient will be placed on oral antibiotic treatment and if it doesn’t seem to be responding then the MRSA strain may be resistant to the antibiotic, or the infection may be more severe then it appears.  In more severe cases of MRSA, the patient may be admitted to the hospital and started on IV antibiotics.

A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that’s why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet.  If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 – 673 – 3668.

By Dr.Bruce Theall
July 30, 2015
Category: Athlete's Foot

During these dog days of summer, we usually begin to try to find ways to keep our bodies cooler when the temperature is on the rise.  When we begin to sweat or perspire, our feet end up taking most of the abuse.  People will often opt for lighter and more ‘airy’ footwear such as flip flops, sandals, and slip on type shoes more so for comfort and to keep cool.  Many problems can arise with our feet due to the heat, namely foot fungus, most commonly known as athlete’s foot. 

                Athlete’s foot can affect anyone, not only athletes.  It is a very common skin disease that causes itching, scaling, blistering, and flaking of the skin.  It is known as tinea pedis and is the most common of all superficial fungal skin infections that is usually caused by an overgrowth of organisms precipitated by a change in the skin’s microenvironment, other organisms, changes in humidity, and possible changes in the person’s immunological status.  Fungus thrive in dark moist environments, so what better place than a shoe with a sweaty foot during the summer, or walking barefoot around swimming pools/showers, barefoot in locker rooms, or even by sharing towels with others to dry your feet.  Scratching your skin or someone else’s can also be a mode of transmission.  Toe nails can also become infected with fungus the same way the foot skin can become infected. 

                Infection can be prevented by keeping your feet dry and changing between shoe wear by not wearing the same pair every day for all activities.  Be sure to have one pair of shoes for work, the gym, and walking.  You should also be sure to change all of your socks every day to ensure that no fungal elements are left after a long day of sweating.  There are many creams, ointments, oral medications, sprays, and powders that are available to be treat foot fungus.  Many sure you check with your podiatrist to see which kind of treatment is right for you. 

If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973  673-3668.  Remember to take care of your feet they are the foundation to your life!!!

By Dr. Bruce Theall
June 24, 2013
Category: Diabetes

Mention Brad Pitt and zombies are probably the furthest things from your mind. However, World War Z, released to theaters last week, stars Pitt as a loving husband and father who works for the United Nations.  In the movie, he attempts to bring an end to the plague of zombies sweeping over the world—ragged clothes, wounds, and all.

While zombies are the latest craze, many among the living experience wounds that won’t heal—also known as chronic wounds.  The term chronic is used for sores that do not heal within four weeks.  There are different causes of this condition.  In the feet, they are most commonly associated with diabetesBeing overweight often plays a role as well, since wounds usually develop around the pressure points of the feet. 

If someone with diabetes is not checking their feet regularly, a wound that won’t heal may go on without treatment.  Since the body’s immune response is not working to heal the area, infection can begin and spread quickly.  The results can be severe with the most devastating consequence being amputation.

The situation in World War Z may seem hopeless, but having a chronic wound isn’t the end of the world.  Wrapping the sore will help to protect it from bacteria.  Antibiotics are often prescribed in an effort to avert infection.  Skin grafts and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) can be used to promote faster closure of this wound type.

At Gentle Touch Foot Care, we specialize in HBO, which involves the patient receiving 100 percent oxygen in a high-pressure setting.  This push of oxygen aids in the healing process, and has been shown to shorten healing times of chronic wounds. Dr. Adegboyega is a fellowship trained wound specialist, certified in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. 

Make an appointment today to learn more about the treatments available to you.  Drs. Theall and Adegboyega provide expert care in East Orange, NJ.  Call the office at 973-673-3668 to make an appointment or schedule online