Superficial cellulitis - treatment options
Each day we put on our shoes and socks and head out into the world. What happens inside the shoes has little bearing on our day until something goes wrong with our feet. What happens though is that inside the shoe we create a terrarium of sorts. The inside of the shoe is hot, wet and dark. Perspiration is locked inside the shoe creating a moist and hot environment. This unique environment has a powerful effect on the skin of the foot making it prone to fungal infections and bacterial infections of the foot. Many of these foot problems become chronic, perpetuated by the harsh environment inside our shoes.
I saw an 83 y/o male patient this morning for follow-up on superficial cellulitis of both feet. I had seen him several weeks ago when he presented with well demarcated lesions of the top of the foot and anterior ankle. The lesions showed well defined borders and an erythematous (red) base. Small blisters (vessicles) were found within the lesions. These lesions were consistent with a superficial staph infection. The generic term used to define a superficial staph infection is called superficial cellulitis.
Octogenarians are fragile folk. As a doctor, when you treat octogenarians you need to use a gentle touch. It's not an unusual occurrence to start an eighty some year old on an antibiotic only to find them to come down with a super colonization or overgrowth of a new and different bacteria. The fear of c. difficile infections of the bowel are real and unfortunately all too common in octogenarians.
In this case we chose to treat the patient's cellulitis with a more natural solution called Antifungal Healing Cream. Antifungal Healing Cream is an antifungal and antibacterial cream that uses tea tree and lavender oils as its' active ingredients. My patient was very compliant with his treatment, applying Healing Cream twice daily.
We've grown accustomed in our society to go to the doctor and get a pill - a fast fix for a problem. But in the case of my patient, that fast fix comes with some serious side effects. And in his case, he looks forward to the task of applying his cream every day.
Most importantly, the choice of treatment worked. The Healing Cream was the right antibacterial for this case. I also coached my patient to change his socks daily, rotate shoes to allow them to dry and to periodically use an Epsom Salt soak to dry the vessicles.
My paycheck? When my patient said to me, "Thanks. doc. This really works."
Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM