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Toe Infection

Toe Infection

A toe infection, if left untreated or unattended, can easily spread to other areas of the foot and the consequences may be scary. Here are some tips on how to treat the infection, and a brief info on what causes it.
Rajib Singha
Last Updated: May 16, 2018
The flesh of the toe or the area which lies underneath the toenail, may get infected. Typical symptoms which indicate such infection include swelling, skin irritation, redness and foul odor. Discoloring of nails or thickening of nails may also occur, apart from brittle nails and formation of pus in the infected area, depending on the stage and severity of the infection.
Tips on Treating A Toe Infection
☞ The infection can cause the formation of an abscess. And if this the case then, the abscess can be drained to avoid further infection.
Soaking the feet in warm water mixed with a little salt also helps in treating the infection. This method softens thick and hard-to-cut nails. Cuts or blistered areas of the infected toe must be applied with antibiotic ointment, and must be covered with a thick soft bandage. This will prevent irritation and protect the infected toe while wearing socks and shoes.
☞ Keeping yourself hydrated also helps. Toxins in the body serve to aggravate the infection and delay the recovery period. So, drinking plenty of water will help flushing the toxins out of the body and encourage in healing the infection.
☞ People with a compromised immune system are also prone to developing the same. So adding some rich sources of vitamin C to the diet will not only treat the infection, but prevent it as well.
☞ If the infection of the toe is caused by a fungus, then use of topical ointments and antifungal powders is usually involved in the treatment. However, this infection occurs in different forms and not all of them get cured by the use of conventional treatment methods. But there have evolved new drugs which possess the ability to fight such infections and deal with the problem.
☞ For certain types of infection causes by fungus, doctors use what is known as an antifungal nail paint. It can be obtained as a prescribed medicine or even as an over-the-counter one. However, this paint is known to be effective when the infection is just towards the end of the nail and has not affected the skin around the nail.
☞ In cases, where all treatments fail to respond positively towards treating the infection, patients may opt for getting the infected nail removed by a small operation. Several months or even a year may be required for a fresh new and healthy nail to grow in the place of the old one.
What Causes the Infection?
A toe infection may be triggered by different conditions. Some of the common ones include cuts, scrapes, dry skin and crack skin. Sometimes, even a rupture in the plate of the toenail may cause the infection. People who wear shoes which have poor ventilation system are also prone to contract the same. Other common causes of the infection are different types of fungi and bacteria. Developing the same infection from pedicure is also common with most people. This is usually the result of using tools which are not kept in hygienic conditions thus, get infected by bacteria and fungus. The following will help you understand the various procedures taken up to treat the ailment.
Toe infection can be prevented with ease by following some simple self care measures. Protect your nails from any harm or injury. Even if injured, take immediate steps to treat the damage. Maintain healthy hygiene by wearing flip-flops in bathing or shower places, and especially those in public places. Do away with footwear which are old as they may harbor harmful pathogens such as bacteria and fungus.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.