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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for toenail infection after injury

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2763 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 24 Apr 2018 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hi, my baby hit my index toe and my toenail bled just a little. I cut my toenail and put peroxide. It seems ok. The next two days, my toenail where it got hit started to itch and noticed when I press on my index toenail a clear liquid comes out... pls help... what does it mean when it oozes clear liquid and a little itchy...
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Clear liquid or transudate may be due to swelling or inflammation causing fluid to seep out of the tissues. The itching, if mild might be from healing process.

If the wound is under the toenail and there appears to be a collection of blood under the nail, you should go in to an urgent care clinic to have a hole put into the nail to release pressure.

If there appears to be an obvious infection (the tissue is red and hot) and swelling, likewise also go in.

Otherwise consider soaking the toe in very warm-hot water (not so hot that there is risk of burning the skin) 2-3 times/day for several minutes each time. If the wound is on the outside (i.e. not under the nail), and at risk of abrasion or infection from socks or the floor, consider applying zinc oxide ointment (you can get this at Walgreens or Target, etc) and covering with a band aid to protect it.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information. You can also upload digital pictures via the "upload reports" tab if you'd like me to see it. If you do this, please only provide photos that are very good quality with enough light.




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 32 minutes later
Thank you. Here is an image of my toenail. It was hit on the right side of the toenail. I dont know if the wound is under my toenail but, when i put peroxide it doesn't bubble. I dont think its infected but, if its inflammed what do i do?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 10 minutes later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the photo. Possibly the right side of the nail pressed into the underlying skin. But I don't see any bruising/hematoma formation trapped under the nail which would require release by drilling a hole in the nail.

I would still use the heat (hot water) as this increases circulation and healing. But also elevate your foot whenever possible to decrease swelling for the next 2-3 days. And it will heal.

Use a bandaid over it only if it hurts more to have your toe in socks and shoes.

If you start to see concerning changes such as it becomes increasingly hot and tender or there is pus or increasing pain, then time to go in. But I don't expect this to happen.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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