How bad is an infected toenail?

Minor foot problems like ingrown toenails may cause serious complications in some people. See your doctor if you have an ingrown toenail and you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation, or you have a compromised immune system. You should also see a doctor if: Pain and swelling are severe.

Is an infected toenail dangerous?

Left undetected, an infected toenail could cause a serious infection. If you have diabetes, a minor foot injury may not heal properly. Make sure to visit a healthcare professional before these smaller injuries lead to a possible infection.

How painful is an infected toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be painful, and they usually worsen in stages. Early-stage symptoms include: skin next to the nail becoming tender, swollen, or hard. pain when pressure is placed on the toe.

What happens if an infected toenail goes untreated?

In some cases, an untreated ingrown toenail can spread the infection to the bone beneath the nail. And, if the infection continues to be left untreated, it can even enter the bloodstream and cause a serious condition, such as sepsis or gangrene.

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What does a infected toenail look like?

Infected nails are usually thicker than normal and could be warped or oddly shaped. They can break easily. Nails with fungus might look yellow. Sometimes a white dot shows up on the nail and then gets bigger.

How do you fix an infected toenail?

How Is a Toe Infection Treated?

  1. Soak the toe for about 15 minutes in a bathtub or bucket filled with warm water and salt. Do this three to four times a day.
  2. Rub a medicated ointment on the toe and wrap it in a clean bandage.
  3. To treat an ingrown toenail, gently lift the corner of the nail.

Which antibiotic is best for toe infection?

Medication Summary

Agents such as cephalexin, dicloxacillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, or clindamycin are effective choices. If methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) infection is suspected, then clindamycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, minocycline, or linezolid may be used.

Should you squeeze pus out of an infected toe?

Soak your toe and change the piece of cotton each day until the nail grows out and can be trimmed. Do not use a sharp object like manicure scissors to dig under your nail, because the toe might get infected. Do not try to use a needle to drain the pus from your toe. This could make the infection worse.

How long does a toe infection last?

If after 2 to 3 days of antibiotics the toenail doesn’t get better or gets worse, part of the nail may need to be removed to drain the infection. With treatment, it can take 1 to 2 weeks to clear up completely.

Does Vicks Vapor Rub help ingrown toenails?

Vicks VapoRub can help ease the pain of an ingrown toenail since it contains menthol and camphor, which are topical analgesics. It may also soften the nail if you’re trying to clip it.

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Can you get sepsis from ingrown toenail?

Even a particularly bad ingrown toenail that becomes infected can lead to sepsis, he says, although that is not a common occurrence.

When should I go to the hospital for an infected toe?

SEE A DOCTOR: If you have any worrisome symptoms like unbearable pain, unusual swelling, pus, odor, or warmth in the affected toe and its surrounding area, have a doctor take a look. An emergency room can remove ingrown toenails if necessary.

When should I be worried about a toe infection?

Call your doctor or a podiatrist if: You are noticing redness, swelling, and/or drainage coming from your toe. You think you may have a fungal infection and over-the-counter creams haven’t worked. You have an infected or ingrown toenail and you’re diabetic.

Your podiatrist