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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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my big toe is swollen and red and tender to touch. sometimes

Resolved Question:

my big toe is swollen and red and tender to touch. sometimes pus comes out of the base and side of my nail
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.

Have you ever had treatment for this?
Are you having pus drainage now?
Is it the area around the nail that is swollen and red?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No I havent. over the past winter it was on the left side of my right toenail and then it went away. I never had pus. Now in the last 3 or 4 weeks its along the bottom of the same toenail. its really red, swollen and tender. a little bit of pus came out of the bottom part of the nail almost a week ago. Now nothing except a little bit of pus on the right side of the nail.
I have been soaking with epsom salt sinse yesterday and applying anti fungal cream at least twice a day for a week. Nothing seems to be helping and i'm afraid it will spread to the right side of my toenail or the sweeling will continue beloe where my toe bends.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.
It sounds like you have in ingrown toenail. You are doing the right thing by soaking it. You should soak it for 20 minutes three times a day. But, unfortunately, since it has pus drainage, you are going to need treatment by a doctor. Likely, you will have to have some of the nail removed. Your doctor may put you on antibiotics as well.
The anti-fungal medication will do nothing for you so you can stop that.
You can try putting a triple antibiotic ointment on it tonight but you will need to see your doctor.

Here is some information for you about ingrown toenails:

If you have any more questions, let me know.
Dr Abby
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
can I buy that triple antibiotic ointment at the pharmacy? if so what name does it go by?
Also I don't have healtyh insurance. Do you know how much something like a nail removal will cost and do i go to a general practitioner for that?
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.
Yes, most GP's will do it, but ask first before you go.
Or an urgent care, podiatrist.
Usually any type of minor surgery will be over $150.
You can use neosporin or generic triple antibiotic (it is actually called triple antibiotic)

If it is infected, which I am pretty sure it is, you are going to have to see a doctor, unfortunately. It isn't going to go away on its own. You may, depending on the severity, be able to get away with oral antibiotics only and avoid the nail removal. But, usually the nail has to come off.

Dr Abby
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