Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"I have an infected toe, what can I do?"
Okay so I was fiddling around with my big left toe and it became an infection, I tried poking out the pus and then soaking it in soapy water, and then covering it for the day and repeating the proses. But yesterday I looked at my toe and it wasent pussy anymore, it was bleeding and it was purple. Today I woke up and I checked my toe and the bloody crust cracked and then a bubble of puss came up. And then it started bleeding like crazy. I don't know what to do and I don't want to go to the doctor after the treatment I had to get for the infection I got on y face afew months ago...help please?
Unfortunately, the short answer that I have for you is that you should see either a podiatrist or an orthopaedic foot/ankle surgeon. Infections of the toe, especially as you describe, need a formal decompression of the underlying pus (maybe even surgery); you may also need oral (if not IV) antibiotics for a period of time. I should start by saying that, in general, you should never try to express pus from an infected area on your own no matter how convinced you are that you are doing it in a sterile fashion. Doing things like this on your own will at the very least not adequately treat the infection, and, more likely, will make the infection even worse. I'm guessing by your description that you have an infection of the underlying nail bed of your big toe, which will require a podiatrist or orthopaedic surgeon to remove all or part of the nail, and opening up the underlying infection pocket to let the pus drain. Like I said, you will then probably need close follow-up and antibiotics to help clear the infection. Please do NOT treat this yourself. As it sounds, the infection has already gotten worse. If these conditions should ever really apply to you or someone you know, please contact your physician or call 911 in cases of emergency.
Need more info?See an orthopedic surgeon today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.