Author Topic: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure  (Read 13458 times)

Offline khix

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Not sure where to post this, but I need help.  My big toe is in incredible pain.  It might be an ingrown toenail, but I'm not sure since the nail doesn't really appear to be ingrown.  Maybe the cuticle/skin beside the nail got infected somehow?  It's red & painful & tender, and now there's are red streak going around under the nail & starting to go up the toe.  It's definitely infected because when I pulled on the skin, some puss came out.  I need help for easing the pain & for the infection.  Or is this a doctor issue?  However, I don't have insurance, so I can't afford a doctor.  There's a low-cost clinic in the area, however I don't have a ride, and by the time my husband comes home from work, the clinic will already be closed.  If home treatment doesn't work, I suppose I'll if my husband can come home early one day, but I just wanted to check here first.
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Offline LoveSunflowers

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2006, 08:32:16 AM »
I don't know what you have at your house but this is where I would start.Get a tub of water and soak your toe in epsom salt. That helped when my husband had an infection. I also know that raw honey can help draw out infection so when you aren't soaking, cover with honey. However, if you have a red strak going up your toe, you might need a doctor.  :-\ I know that is a serious sign of infection. Let us know how you are doing. My husband and I didn't have insurance for awhile and it can stressful when things like this happen.

Offline Mama Sita

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2006, 08:38:49 AM »
Ouch!
Sounds like you definitely have something going on there with that big toe. Can I suggest something that might help? In our house, we are great fans of apple cider vinegar. I try to keep the real stuff around, with the 'mother,' but regular apple cider vinegar will work, too.

Warm the vinegar to as hot as you can possibly stand it on your toe, and make a hot compress out of a clean rag or some gauze. Soak thoroughly with that warm/hot vinegar and apply it to your toe. Yes, it's not going to feel great, but I have seen many times that this hot apple cider vinegar will draw out an infection in about a day, depending on the severity of the infection. My brother was able to treat himself with this method. He had a terrible red streak going up his arm from some infection or injury, and within a day and a half, the red streak was gone and his pain and swelling was almost nill.

Keep that hot compress on there and wrap it in tape, vetrap (we call this stuff horse wrap and it works GREAT) or whatever else you have on hand to keep this compress in place. I would change it every hour and put a fresh HOT one on, re-wraping it to keep it there.

Right now, I am nursing a spider bite on my foot. Dang thing bit me yesterday, felt like a knife! No, I don't know what kind of spider it was, but the pain was terrible! Anyway, I am currently using plantain and hot apple cider vinegar to draw this out, and the redness/pain/swelling is almost gone. It was really bad yesterday.

Hope this helps you. You may want to consider using the plantain, too.
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Offline khix

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2006, 08:48:49 AM »
Thanks to both of you.  I have been soaking my foot in warm water, but with table salt (don't have any epsom on hand...will have to send my hubby out to get it...I am VERY new to all of this home treatment stuff, so I have nothing on hand, nor very much money to go out & buy the stuff either!  But, little by little, I hope to change that!).  Anyway, I will try the epsom and the honey and/or vinegar.  If anyone else has any more suggestions, they would be much appreciated!
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2006, 09:31:02 AM »
I would definitely consider having a podiatrist look at it.  It definitely sounds like an ingrown toe nail.  I had the pain and the pus for years and finally had them removed.  Ahhh, so much better, now.  It took about half an hour just to do 3 toes.  Hope it feels better for you soon.  The only way I know to get rid of the pain is to have them removed!  The nail, not the toes ;)

Offline healthybratt

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006, 12:00:37 PM »
I would definitely consider having a podiatrist look at it.  It definitely sounds like an ingrown toe nail.  I had the pain and the pus for years and finally had them removed.  Ahhh, so much better, now.  It took about half an hour just to do 3 toes.  Hope it feels better for you soon.  The only way I know to get rid of the pain is to have them removed!  The nail, not the toes ;)

My mother has had ingrown toenails for years.  Now she just cuts a V in the middle of them to relieve the outward pressure of the toenail.  Worked for her.
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2006, 03:09:33 PM »
I am glad something worked for your mother.  However, the podiatrist said that wouldn't work on someone who naturally has "spooning" toe nails.  I guess it is the term given to freaks like myself whose toe nails curve inside in a spoon fashion.  You wouldn't happen to know the type of "toe nail" your mamma has, would you?! ;)

Offline healthybratt

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2006, 03:34:48 PM »
I am glad something worked for your mother.  However, the podiatrist said that wouldn't work on someone who naturally has "spooning" toe nails.  I guess it is the term given to freaks like myself whose toe nails curve inside in a spoon fashion.  You wouldn't happen to know the type of "toe nail" your mamma has, would you?! ;)

Mmmm....not sure what a spoon is?  My mom's look pretty normal to me.  Not even sure why she has problems.  I get tenderness in the tough skin on the corners, but if I clean them in the tub when they are soft, this doesn't usually become an issue.  I also don't cut my toenails square like you're supposed to and I don't have any trouble with that either. 
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Offline khix

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2006, 08:24:57 AM »
Just wanted to say thanks for everyone's help, and to give an update.  I kept soaking in warm salt water, did the apple cider vinegar compresses, kept taking vitamin c & echinacea & honey, and on Thursday, my toe started getting better.  I don't think it was the nail, maybe just an infection.  It is clearing up, though.  I went ahead & kept my appointment with the doctor today (I had called in on Wednesday), and it would have been a waste of time had I not had to also pick up some asthma medication...the only thing they did or could do was give me some antibiotics, to make sure the infection does not come back.  But, I don't like taking anitbiotics (for obvious reasons!), and I'm not sure if I should begin taking them.  Maybe the wait & see approach is better, especially now that my toe seems to be getting better already.  Any opinions?  Again, a big thanks to everyone!
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Offline Mama Sita

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Re: HELP - big toe infection, could be ingrown toenail, not sure
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2006, 02:38:47 AM »
Hi khix,
I am sure glad you are feeling better. You know, I've noticed that when your feet hurt, your whole body hurts. That's why a good pair of comfortable shoes is so important to me. So I can imagine you're feeling much better all over now that your toe is, too!!

Thanks for giving an update. It's nice to hear that you are healing!


Mama Sita
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