I have been giving much thought to your toe problem and RockRose may be absolutely correct that this could be Athlete's Foot that had not been treated correctly and the fungal infection has spread to your toe.
This would explain why the Flamazine seemed to be helping - it works to kill off some fungus infections.
Fungal skin and nail infections can take a very long time to heal even when using the appropriate medication.
Personally, I would not panic about any infection spreading to your bone. A gp/dermatologist would take into consideration all your symptoms, before giving you a diagnosis before thinking about sending you for imaging tests. At the very least the dermatologist that you saw should have taken a swab of the area to be sent to the laboratory for analysis. That would identify any bacterial, the type of fungus that may be present and the best treatment.
Yes, infections can happen when bacteria enter through broken skin, be it a cut, scratch (even by plants and animals), pin prick, bug bites. The initial infection through a scratch would more likely be cellulitis. The surround skin would be very painful and hot to the touch with you feeling very unwell.
I agree with RockRose that this is highly likely to be an Athlete's Foot problem.
Whenever there is a broken skin surface there is the possibility of an infection. What started as athletes foot may not end up as athletes foot. Is is abnormal to have this condition for an extended period of time. Broken skin is idea territory for a staph infection. If you have been seeing a doctor I suggest seeing a different doctor.
Osteomyelitis would not necessarily cause any pain. That information is absolutely incorrect. In a worst case it can rapidly progress to the metatarsals, requiring partial foot amputation. The only definitive differential diagnosis is by MRI. X-ray will usually, but not always determine if osteomyelitis is present. You need an immediate consult with a podiatrist. Soaking the foot is the worst thing to do with an infection of the toe. It is the WRONG advice. It could result in spread of the infection to the bone, the infection to the foot and the leg. If it spreads to the leg you might require amputation.
Osteomyelitis would cause extremely severe pain in the bone and not only that there would be other symptoms.
Drapoline is an antiseptic cream.
It is used for the relief of nappy rash as well as to prevent it. It is used for dermatitis in adults that is casued by unrinary problems as well as to prevent urinary dermatitis. The cream is also used to relieve symptoms of minor burns, limited sunburn and the effects of weather. Some people may be sensitive to some of the ingredients in the cream.
FLAMAZINE is an antibacterial cream.
It is used to prevent infection in severe burns and also used for other types of wounds like pressure sores and leg ulcers.
According to the Flamazine medication leaflet, it is soothing when applied and has proven activity against a broad range of organisms including both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and some viruses and fungi.
When you say that the wound was healing when you used the cream, but the skin kept of peeling, the reason for the peeling skin is that it is dead skin and new skin is forming beneath that top layer of skin.
Unfortunately, skin bacterial, fungal or viral infections take a very long time to treat and if not treated properly just fester and fester. It may be that you stopped using the Flamazine far too soon, especially as it seemed to be helping with the broken skin to heal.
You need to keep the foot clean, apply the cream as directed by your doctor (I understand that Flamazine is only available on prescription), only wear cotton socks and sandals to avoid any moisture.
Althlete's Foot is mainly in between the toes and just underneath the toe.
You should keep applying the cream the doctor prescribed for you and as directed. Hygiene and following the instructions on the packet of how to and how often to apply the cream is imperative to help with the skin to heal. Get back to your doctor if there is no sign of improvement. The doctor would the consider prescribing a different medication and would I hope arrange for a skin swab to be taken to be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
Washing the foot in a saline solution would in fact help against further infection and aid healing. It would also help by removing the layer of the dead skin that is pealing. You only need to soak for a few minutes, dry thoroughly and apply the cream as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will give you advice with regard to keeping your foot clean and may even prescribe a saline solution for you.
Do remember that you may need to keep applying the cream the doctor prescribes you for a few days even after the skin as healed.
There was a picture that I did see of the foot showing the condition of the whole toe. I notice that this has since been removed.
Is there some reason you don't think this is simple athlete's foot? That's what it looks like to me, and neither of the medications you've tried will cure athlete's foot.
Go to the local drug or grocery store and buy over the counter athlete's foot cream. If it's athlete's foot, you'll notice an improvement immediately.
You need to first alleviate any friction and rubbing on the foot.
Then you need to protect the foot from getting contaminated, which means it has to be cleansed with an antiseptic solution and covered with a gaze till you see your doctor or preferably a podiatrist as Caregiver mentioned.
You need to find the cause, before it can be properly treated.
Did the dermatologist imply there might have been a reaction to one of the creams you used?
Soaking the foot is contraindicated. Do NOT do this. If this is a bacterial infection the drill is to keep the area dry. You need a consult with a podiatrist, and at the minimum an x-ray or the foot, preferably an MRI. This will determine if an infection has worked it's way into the bone, a condition called osteomyelitis. The bad news bears. A differential diagnosis must be made as to whether the problem is fungal or bacterial. If bacterial, and there is osteomyelitis, intravenous vancomycin is generally prescribed, which means a hospital stay. The Jan 2011 Journal of Infections Diseases discusses antibiotics for osteomyelitis of the foot,.
Make a very urgent appointment to see your doctor.
It looks like a bacterial and or fungal infection. It may well be an allergic reaction to something, but if that was the case the other toes would be affected too.
I cannot understand why the dermatologist "just let you observe". He/should have taken a swab from the skin of that toe and sent it to the laboratory for analysis.
The type of cream that may heal this is an combined cream that is an antibacterial and antifungal. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the appropriate cream for you.
Try soaking the foot in warm water with salt. Make sure you dry thoroughly. Do not walk around bare footed so as not to spread any infection should this be a fungal or bacterial problem. Do not share any towels with other people.
Do you have diabetes? Healing is very slow if someone has diabetes.
Make an urgent appointment to see your doctor
Let me know how you get on.