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xarqi, Generalist
Category: Health
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Pyracantha thorn wound

Customer Question

I stepped on a pyracantha thorn this morning. It went in fairly deep but did not break off. My big toe is very painful and very swollen now (12 hours) later. I have soaked it in hot soapy water. What should I do?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  xarqi replied 11 years ago.

The risk is two-fold. First, tetanus. If you have not had an anti-
tetanus injection in the last 10 years, you should have one now.
Second - possible infection. The pain and swelling you feel are
normal for a wound like this, but they should subside from this
point on, rather than remain or increase. (The pain may take
longer to diminish depending in exactly where you were

What to do? Cleanse the wound at least daily with an antiseptic
solution, apply an antiseptic ointment and cover the wound with
a band-aid or similar. If the swelling/pain is a problem, use
something like ibuprofen - maybe 200 mg 4 times a day.

What to watch for: if the inflammation worsens, if the wound
begins to ooze, or the area around the wound looks like it is
festering, or if the skin starts to lift, or if the wound feels hot to
the touch, it is probably infected. In this case, you should seek
medical treatment at your earliest convenience as antibiotics
may be required.