Toe Web Infection: Epidemiology and Risk Factors in a Large Cohort Study

Michal Solomon*, Hila Greenbaum, Avner Shemer, Aviv Barzilai, Sharon Baum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Toe web infection (TWI) is a bacterial infection of the interdigital space. In most cases, the infection is caused by gram-negative bacteria, secondary to a chronic fungal infection (dermatophytosis). The typical presentation includes macerations and erosions in the interdigital space. Predisposing factors include interdigital tinea, hyperhidrosis, and humidity. Objective: The aim of this study was to characterize the TWI patient population and identify associated risk factors. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients diagnosed with TWI from 2006 to 2020 at Sheba Medical Center, Israel. Collected data included patients' demographics (age, sex, weight, and occupation), smoking pack-years, comorbidities, medications, and course of disease. Results: A total of 200 patients were diagnosed with TWI. The median age at diagnosis was 51 years. The majority of the patients were men (72.5%). The most common comorbidities were dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease. We found that 71.2% of patients were smokers, and 46.4% of patients had occupations that required closed-toe shoes. TWI incidence did not increase seasonally. Bilateral TWI was found in 50% of the patients, 33% had recurrent infections, and 20% had secondary cellulitis. Conclusions: Smoking and diabetes were more prevalent among TWI patients than in the general population, and there was a correlation between smoking and TWI recurrences. We identified risk factors for TWI to identify at-risk populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-906
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Tinea pedis
  • Toe web infection


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