In early October 2008 my 10 year daughter picked her big toenail causing an ingrown toenail. It became red, swollen, and infected. We began soaking it twice a day in epsom salt and after a couple weeks she went to see her pediatrician (I was out of town and could not get her there sooner). Her doctor put her on bactrim (adult strength) twice a day because it looked so bad. After another two weeks, we followed up and he put her on Augmentin (400 mg/2x day) for 10 days and referred her to a podiatrist four days later. The podiatrist removed the portion of the nail that was causing her problems and used phenol to stop further outward growth of the nail. Tomorrow will be seven days since this procedure. We have soaked it twice a day and had antiseptic cream and bandaids on it since about the second day post surgery. However, it is still red, but no swelling, no warmth, no pus, no red streaks. She complains that it is still sore in some areas that I press though. She has a follow up appt. in 1 week. Should I be concerned that it is still red or is this normal? What is the normal healing rate and how long should it remain red? The skin on the side where the nail was removed appears to be growing over "normally".
It will take approx 3 weeks b/f the toe starts to look normal again. You can help it along by brushing the area with a child's toothbrush and antibacterial soap daily. This helps to keep the area clean and heal faster. The phenol is very caustic to the skin. Although it works well with killing the nail root, it can cause 1st degree burns to the surrounding skin. Sounds like this is what happened. It will look better soon. As for the pain, minimal pain is normal. Have your daughter wear an open toe shoe/sandal while it is healing. Instead of using a bandaid, i would dress the toe with antibiotic cream and gauze. This allows the wound to air out. My drug of choice would have been keflex. It would have done the job in less than 1 week.
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