Maggie had an ingrown toenail removed 3 weeks ago. It was infected, and the podiatrist went ahead and removed the ingrown part, and chemically "killed" the matrix on that part of her toe to prevent it from growing back again. A simple in-office procedure that took about 30 minutes.
He said after 2 weeks, it should be fine, but during that time, it would look red and weepy. It did. We did the required daily soaks in Epsom Salts, and changed the bandage. Things were looking good, according to what he told me.
After 2 weeks, I went to change the bandage. I admit, I hadn't changed it the day before, but since it was nearly healed, I didn't think too much about it. When I removed the bandage, I was shocked with a horrible smell. Not like a stinky foot kind of smell. A rotting flesh kind of smell. Then I peeled off the bandage, and saw a red, wet, swollen toe, with flesh peeling off.
It wasn't pretty.
I was pretty sure it wasn't supposed to look like that. So I took Maggie into her pediatrician. He was shocked with what he saw. He immediately took a swab to send off a culture, and ordered a shot of Penicillin. He also prescribed 3 times daily oral antibiotics until we could get the culture back and see exactly what we were dealing with.
I was pretty scared. He said it was probably just a Staph infection, but he needed to make sure it wasn't Pseudomonas, a more serious problem.
The next day, it looked worse, more flesh peeling off, and the smell. Oh! The smell! So I took her back in, and sure enough, he needed to drain it off, and give her a betadine soak to kill off some the the infection. He said he was certain at that point that she would lose her nail, possibly permanently, and if if the culture came back with the Pseudomonas, we would have to talk about possibly taking the toe.
You can't wear flip flops (thongs) without a big toe!
So the next day we get the call, and sure enough, it's Staph. Phew. A huge sigh of relief. Now it has been a week of antibiotics, and I'm glad to report it looks so much better. The nail is still hanging on, and the skin isn't wet and red. It has taken on a more crusty brown color. But that's what we want.
I'm glad she gets to keep her toe, because I hate bending down to tie shoes, especially in the summer.
Scroll down for the before picture. It's pretty nasty. It was taken the first day in the doctors office. The second day pictures are much worse. I'll spare you those images.