Infection After Toenail Removal

by f32rq34

got one,


Sometimes you can get infection after this procedure and it is usually what happens at home rather than what happens within the clean clinic.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

1- if you have got an infection then get antibiotics for it. As soon as the dressing is taken off bugs can get in. Post-op advice really needs to be sorted out, especially with cleansing and dressing the toe...and the person who did it should have told you/ given you a written form.

2- if they used Phenol in the procedure, then this does look like an infection. You should go back to the person who did it to check. But it will always look worse before it gets better, which redness and discharge because the body is adjusting to the chemical burn which was caused and controlled by the Phenol. People who are not used to it will state that it is an infection, even though it isn't.

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Oct 15, 2014
Terrible pain NEW
by: Anonymous

I had ingrown toenails on both my big toes partially removed last Thurs and it's still so painful Im moving my post op appointment up because I can't take the pain!!! And fyi I had a hysterectomy in March and was completely cut open, that's nothing compared to this pain :(

Oct 11, 2014
painful as heck NEW
by: Anonymous

Finally, 3 1/2 months later my toe is so much better. I have problem bending it but am exercising the big toe. Joint painful when I bend it. I now know why they do this to torture people. It is painful. But, I must say I am 95 percent better. Hope you all finally get better too. This is a great site as you all helped me understand the pain I was having must of you also had. Thank you.

Oct 06, 2014
toenail torment NEW
by: GV

I had partial toenail removal with phenol on 3 has been 8 weeks since the surgery and i have got infection for the second time on one of the toes.I have been told many times that phenol surgery is such a simple procedure and you can go to work 3 days after,well not in my seems like never ending trouble.I haveĊ„t had a sock or a shoe on my feet for 4 months now yet my wounds havent healed so addition i am worried my toenail will regrow and i will have to repeat the surgery and spend another 4 months at home

Sep 19, 2014
infection after surgery NEW
by: sharon

just to say that i empathize with the comments that i have read im going through it at the moment i had my big toenail removed 7 weeks ago and have had two infections its so painful and debilitating ive lost some confidence also when you go out and people are walking about you get nervous of the thought of someone stepping on you i had a gallbladder op 5years ago and it was painful but i feel that the nail surgery i have had is more!

Sep 08, 2014
Infection and pain: not worth the surgery... NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank God for this site, because I feel the same way as many of you who wrote on here.
I had the side of my toe nail removed on the right, Last Tuesday. Since then I got an infection & have not been able to sleep, due to constant throbbing. In addition, I had to go to urgent care because I am a diabetic. My foot swelled-up so bad and I had a funny smelling discharge coming from my foot. I was given antibiotics, pain medication & an injection in my butt to stop cellulitis from spreading up my leg. I was also told I had a an abscess that needed to be soaked 4x a day for 20 mins. The epson salt also burned my foot and I had to stop soaking in it for a few soaks.
This surgery is not worth the pain and anguish of going through all the above. I wish I never got it done. I was better off with the pain of the ingrown nail than this. I pray my foot heals soon cause the pain at night is unbearable and I have not gotten a full nights sleep since the 3rd night of the surgery.

Aug 15, 2014
OMG Never again. NEW
by: sore as heck

So, I had a bad fungal infection that after 12 years and lots of meds, made me decide on having my large toe nail removed. The surgery was fine, pain pills and antibiotic(oral). Soak in betadine and warm water twice daily, dry, apply Betadine apply vandalised. You will be fine. No, you will not. I have never had such pain in my life. First couple days were ok. By Fifth day pain set in. No pain pills only Advil. THROBING,SORE,PAINFUL IF SHEET HITS IT. So this is not a surgery I could e Dr tell anyone to have. Now 6 weeks later and I am plagued with pain at night to point of no sleep. Healing is very slow, and I can only wear sandals. My foot swells if down to long. Please tell me it gets better. I just feel like crying.

Jul 30, 2014
triple antibiotic NEW
by: Anonymous

I think the most important thing is to keep it dressed and use triple antibiotic on it. Also the daily soaking in epsom salt then let dry and dress it as above. Just fyi sams club sells the epsom in a large bucket at a good price. You'll need a lot of it before your done. Also the best way I know to detect infection on your own is to smell the discharge on your dressing. I know it sounds gross but if it smells like something rotten you know you've got a problem. I hope this helps some of you, good luck!

Jul 30, 2014
Pain!!!! NEW
by: heidi

hi, I'm now 2 weeks after 2 big toenails being removed, I'm about finished the antibiotic course and will hav to go for more as infection still pretty bad, I'm so glad i found this page and read everyone else's comments on toenail removal as i thot it must jst b me a slow healer, but still in a lot of pain and lunge weeping out 2 weeks later

Jul 29, 2014
10 toe nails removed NEW
by: Anonymous

I had all 10 toe nails removed on the 17 of July . I am still in so much pain I can hardly walk and just would like this to be over with. If I would have known the pain I would be in diabetic or not I would have never done this. Does anyone have any advice for me ?

Jul 25, 2014
Infection is back NEW
by: Anonymous

So 2 days ago I had the removal on my big toe on my right foot. Before the removal it was badly infected with the cell sticking out that was stuck to the skin and I finally took off the bandage to soak it and it looks like it did before with the cell of the skin out over the rest of the nail and I don't know why. What do I do? Please help!

Jul 05, 2014
Toe nail removal with phenol NEW
by: Suzanne

I had toe nail removal 24th June with phenol big toe and the one next to it I'm in a lot of pain it is oozing grunge all the time especially the big toe I went back to the hospital day after surgery for them to change dressing I change dressing twice a day now I left dressing off yesterday as I thought fresh air would dry it out it's really hurting now I don't know if it's infected I'm a diabetic can someone advise

Jun 21, 2014
pain swollen NEW
by: debbue

Had both toe nails of a week ago when the nurse change the dressing it's very saw swollen painfull it seemed fin the day after how long will this go one she thinks it just burnt from the chemical there put on

Mar 07, 2014
nail infection NEW
by: Des lashley

I feel that the doctor should tell you about all these problems before nail surgery
. I am in so much pain i have started smoking herb now, i have not been involved in drugs for 50 years , this pain has made me go back to drugs.

Mar 07, 2014
nail infection NEW
by: Des lashley

I feel that the doctor should tell you about all these problems before nail surgery
. I am in so much pain i have started smoking herb now, i have not been involved in drugs for 50 years , this pain has made me go back to drugs.

Mar 07, 2014
nail infection NEW
by: Des lashley

I feel that the doctor should tell you about all these problems before nail surgery
. I am in so much pain i have started smoking herb now, i have not been involved in drugs for 50 years , this pain has made me go back to drugs.

Feb 12, 2014
Feb 3 "Anonymous" back again to report NEW
by: Anonymous

It has been over two weeks since my partial toe nail removal. Like the others here, I think would never had done it had I known. Anyway, I may have been oversoaking the toes because the doctor put a iodine on a cotton square and wrapped up the toe with the remark that this would dry it out. Little did I know the pain would be the worst experienced this whole time, but it did dry it out. I thought I might die last night. Thank God pain does not always mean death.

Feb 11, 2014
Sighs.. NEW
by: Anonymous

So on the 30th of Jan I had an operation to remove both of my big toenails (biggest toe on each foot) and have been going through a-lot of trouble from it. (note: I also had both of the roots removed as this is the third time this has happened)

After two days I was in so much pain I went to A&E for stronger painkillers and they also gave me some antibiotic's because they seemed 'hot' as a sign of infection.

The next day I was really sick, I was given codeine so they think its just from my body not liking it, So I went off all my medicine since it was constant and I couldn't keep anything down.

So during this time I had my bandages changed just about everyday or every-other day and recently they spotted a bad infection on both and antibiotic's couldn't do anything about it as the infection has got to the point that you can see it all.

And now I am having another operation to 'clean' it out apparently because they said it will not heal properly unless I do so.

But the thing I wanted to ask is I have no idea what they mean by 'cleaning' and does this mean I have to go through all this over again? I am still unable to walk efficiently being about 12-13 days since the operation (the next I am having is actually in a few hours)

I really needed to see if the way I was recovering was the reason why I got this infection, I never was without bandages so I was unable to get the chance to soak my toes, I have never heard about the soaking from the doctors, but maybe because it is such a deeper cut that its for the best? Or are they just leaving out a few things? because I would mention this if it avoids me having to go through this again and again its been 3 years, also mentioning that I am 16, I have been missing a-lot of school/college also this is no help to my self-confidence which is easy enough to understand.

Also I have been keeping socks on all the time.. I know that sweat won't help anything so maybe I should stop? Any advice would be helpful I am in such a muddle haha.

Sorry for the long message x

Feb 08, 2014
Partial toenail removal NEW
by: Anonymous

I had the toenail partially removed with phenol 3weeks ago and it has been healing beautifully. When I went in for my 2 week check p, I had the other toe done. This toe on the other hand has progressively gotten more red and more tender and sore with each day. I called my Dr. and she prescribed an oral antibiotic, but after 60 hours, it is still getting worse. I clean and doctor as instructed, just as I did on the other toe. Not sure what else to do.

Feb 03, 2014
One week after half toenail removal NEW
by: Anonymous

I am in serious pain. There is a black hole in my toe that confuses me and a deep red blur where the partial toenail was. Puffy and sore around it. I went back to the foot doctor today and he said I do not have gangrene. He acted relaxed. . . . but the pain is considerable.I am so scared. A friend's aunt (who was 104 years old, admittedly) died from an ingrown toenail. Today the doctor gave me a five day antibiotic prescription.

I have an appointment to see him in a week but I do not know if I can hold out 7 more days. Should I get a second opinion (always hard to get a doctor to see a new patient that quick)? Go to ER? Why does it hurt more now than three days ago? Why did I let him extract my nail?? It was just a dumb little split toenail that caught on the bed sheets. I could live with that. . . .

Jan 21, 2014
really slow healing time NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 5 weeks into the phenol permanent removal on my 2 big toes. the nail beds are scabbed over ,but the burn area continues to crack and weep when I walk, still hurts although not that throbbing pain more of a sting. My toes are still tender and have lost the outer layer of skin which leaves them red. At this rate I think I still have a few more weeks to go before the weeping stops and probably 5 more weeks before the scabbing starts to fall off. for what I am going to guess a total of 16 weeks to feel somewhat normal owww

Jan 19, 2014
Infection two months later?? NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi, two months ago I had an ingrown removed. I've had an ongoing discomfort and the swelling hasn't gone down much. Also it looks a bit bruised around the nail where it was removed and a black spot appeared where part of the new nail has grown. Could this be an infection? I had the Dr. who removed it take another look but he says it looks fine. So I am considering going elsewhere for a second opinion. Is the discomfort normal two months later?

Nov 07, 2013
Infected toenail?
by: Anonymous

Hi, I had a infected toenail removed from my toe a little over a month ago. The doctor also treated the other toe just be safe. Anyway, its been a while and my uninfected toe is looking great and almost normal. However the other toe is very red, swollen, and painful. There is also a lot of extra tissue surrounding the nail. Is it infected? What do I do?


Sometimes doctors treat the other toe because it is showing signs of an ingrown toenail- now or could be in the future. It is easier because you are prepared, and doing another toenail at the same time is simpler.

If both toes were done at the same time now you have a comparison. I think you might still have a small bit of toenail present- the puffyness of the skin suggests that nail needs to be checked again. Go back.

Aug 12, 2013
by: Anonymous

I just had my left big toenail removed Friday nd my doctor barely gave me instructions this my first time getting it done nd I've been reading different things on how treat it all he told me was soak it with abson salt nd then out band aid on it nd it's still bleeding alil nd has white stuff at bottom isk if it's from the bandage cause the bandage stuck to the womb he didn't use non stick bandage I'm so confused :/


If you have been washing it for a long time, then you will get white skin build up, also phenol (if used) can cause whiteness on the skin.

Don't salt water bathe for longer than 2 mins. Also you will be redressing it daily. If you do sports and run around, it is going to bleed.

May 11, 2013
Red Rash couple weeks after surgery
by: Anonymous

My husband had his right large toenail removed, due to ingrown nail, and infection. This was done two weeks ago. His health is not good overall, with some immune compromised conditions (leukemia) and parkinsons/alzheimers. We've been soaking daily in epsom salts and keeping it covered with gauze and some analgesic ointment. A couple days ago, he started with some red spots on the back of the foot, and one spot right in the top middle of the foot. Initially they didn't itch, but now he says he feels a bit of an itch. They are angry red. I wonder if anyone else knows if this is a reaction to epsom salts, or some type of internal infection. His foot is swollen, but I have read that is not uncommon while healing. The nailbed itself doesn't look too bad. Thanks for any comments anyone might have.


Foot swollen?

Maybe an infected foot, check it out, could be just swollen though through illness.

Spots can be there due to redressings- the overuse of them especially using tape all the time.

Sometimes it can be a small case of athletes foot due to the washing and drying of the feet (otc cream is a simple remedy for this).

Aug 23, 2012
my toenail surgary
by: ivy

i had my toenail taken off at the doctors a month ago on the 23 july, it has only been redressed at the surgary but i have got infection. i am now on my third lot of antibiotics and they took a swob on fri 19th aug, when i rang the doctors today i was told results came back 4 days ago and no one has reported on it yet, i cant see how it could have got infected at home when it have not been uncovered here.


Home care is sometimes where the infection comes in. That doesn't mean that your home is dirty, it just means that the bugs, which are microbial, get into the wound as soon as you take off that dressing.

You could have a condition which makes a little bit more prone to infection- like Diabetes.

If your dressing leaks through then the bugs can get in through that way.

We tell our patients that they need, for 2 weeks post nail surgery, daily salt water bathing (2 minutes max) then redress with a clean, sterile dressing- no BandAids.

Then they get checked over. And the dressing regime changes depending upon the look of the wound.

2 things to mention:

1- If they used Phenol on the nail bed it will look like an infection because your body is fighting a chemical burn. But it is not really infected and the swab that comes back is "normal"

2- It takes 6 weeks to heal, less in some, more in others, but 6 weeks is the average. It discharges heavily and then reduces over time.

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A Chiropodist since 2004, Dominic works in Doctors clinics and focuses on foot health education.

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