Stepping on a thumbtack, nail or piece of glass is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Most people try to treat themselves at home, however any object that penetrates the skin can lead to an infection especially if the object is not clean.
A puncture wound can lead to cellulitis, an infection caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria. Cellulitis will cause swelling and redness to the skin. The infected area will be warm and painful to the touch and you may develop a fever. If the bacteria enter the bloodstream the infection can spread to the rest of the body and sometimes lead to a life threatening infection know as necrotizing fasciitis.
If you step on a nail, seek medical attention immediately. If your tetanus shots are not up to date, your physician will administer a tetanus shot to protect you against lockjaw, an infection that can cause your muscles to painfully contract.
Come see us at the Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc. within 24 hours after injury. We will remove the foreign object and take x-rays to ensure no pieces remain in the foot. We will clean the wound and monitor your progress during healing. In some cases antibiotics may be prescribed.
Infection is always a concern after a puncture wound. Signs of infection include warmth, redness, swelling, soreness and sometimes drainage. If the object penetrated to bone, a bone infection may occur. In some cases a painful scar or hard cyst may develop.