Dr. Jacoby shares the symptoms associated with bacterial nail infections and explains the medications and minor I&D procedure commonly used to treat this infection.
Bacterial infections – how would you know you had a bacterial infection? Number one, it probably would hurt. It would cause you pain. There would be drainage. The nail bed itself would be red. There may be some whiteness around the nail indicating there’s pus. If you have a bacterial infection, it needs antibiotics. Topical antibiotics probably are not effective against bacterial infections because it can’t penetrate the infection; you need an oral antibiotic and that requires a doctor visit.
I think the best way to treat them if it’s a first event is antibiotics. If there is quite a bit of pain, you need incision and drainage. Incision and drainage, which we call I&D, is a simple procedure. Probably it does not need anesthetic, but if it’s a chronic recurring infection then you will need permanent nail correction and that does require anesthesia although it just needs a local anesthetic, but the toe needs to be what we call ‘blocked’ so that you don’t feel the pain.
Take the side of the nail out, find the infection and cored the material out of there and usually use a chemical to kill the nail matrix, that’s the substance that causes the nail to grow, and that’s usually what needs to be done in most of the cases.
About Dr. Richard Jacoby, D.P.M.:
Dr. Richard Jacoby, D.P.M., graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine. He completed his residency at Parkview Hospital, Philadelphia, specializing in foot and ankle surgery. Board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeons, he is currently president of Valley Foot Surgeons in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition, Dr. Jacoby is chairman of the board of Healthcare Networks of America.
Dr. Jacoby has been named the 2010 President of The Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons.