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  • Overgrown toe skin after injury - what do I do?

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    Old 06-11-2016, 02:54 AM   #1
    philj4's Avatar
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    Overgrown toe skin after injury - what do I do?

    Hi all,

    Last week, I fell off my motorbike and tore the skin around the nail of my right big toe (the skin to the left of the nail). A small piece of the nail broke off, too. By now, the wound has mostly healed, but the skin seems to have grown back too much, and the nail is cutting into it so that it hurts a bit. The tip of the overgrown part is scab-like, but part of it looks like healthy skin. I'm wondering it's going to fall off on its own, or if I have to get it sliced off by a doctor.

    This is the third time I've had a problem with this nail. Twice before, I've torn the skin around the nail, and in both cases it got infected and bulbous and puss-oozing and the doctor pulled the whole nail clean off, after which it grew back and was fine. I'm told the nail is slightly ingrown, but it's never given me any problems except after these three injuries.

    So what do I do this time? Wait for the thing to heal on its own, or get it treated? The problem is I'm traveling in a foreign country and I won't be back in the U.S. for another 10 days. I don't want to ruin my trip by making it so I can't walk for a week, like what would happen if I took off the whole nail, but at the same time I can't wear shoes the way I am now, only sandals, and that's preventing me from doing certain things. It seems like a relatively small amount overgrown skin - would it be a simple matter to take it off?

    Also, if I leave it on, is it important to stay out of the water, like in showers or the ocean?

    Thanks in advance for any insight provided.


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    Old 06-11-2016, 06:46 AM   #2
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    Re: Overgrown toe skin after injury - what do I do?

    Hi philj4,

    I have a problem big toe nail, too from injuring it a few times. There is one area of hard dry skin that I have needed to file and smooth out some.

    First of all, if you remove the whole nail you will be in a lot of pain and in my opinion it will ruin your trip. The only reason to remove the nail is if seriously infected. Ingrown nails can be treated without surgery. You must take the time every day to soak the foot and gently push the skin back, and protect the area with a pad and socks and shoes.

    The main thing is to protect the area while it heals. You can take care of your feet. ALWAYS wear sturdy protective shoes to protect your feet and ankles, esp when on a motor bike! Never ride barefooted or in open toe shoes/sandals no matter how safe or how much fun it seems.

    Do not cut the toe skin, esp if you want to be able to wear closed toe shoes and enjoy the rest of your trip. There is no reason to remove the nail or to cut the skin. Instead get a nail emery board file from a beauty supply store if you can, and gently file to smooth the dry rough area some so it doesn't catch on socks.

    Then, soak your foot in very warm water, till the skin softens, and after 20 minutes or so, rinse the foot and use a towel to rub the dead skin off and gently push the skin back from the sides of your nail. Do this every day so that the nail doesn't grow into the skin.

    If you can find 'corn pads', you can apply one to your toe to keep it from being rubbed by your shoe, and make sure to wear socks in your shoes.

    If your skin is not cut it should be safe to get your foot in water. But if the skin is cut, definitely keep it clean and dry and covered until healed.
    ~ YaYa ~

    Last edited by yayagirl; 06-11-2016 at 06:51 AM.

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