Has it ever happened to you that you were walking quietly barefoot somewhere and suddenly, unintentionally, you have put your foot on top of a nail and it has penetrated your foot? If this happens, it is important that you are aware of all the risks involved, as well as how to act, as it can be more dangerous than you imagine, so do not overlook it.
Therefore, in this article we want to help you know how to heal a nail wound in the foot and the consequences that this implies, so keep reading if you want to know more about this topic.
What to do when you nail yourself in your foot
If it has happened to you that you have stepped on a nail and it has penetrated minimally into your foot, you should know that you have to follow a series of instructions, since your health could be in danger. It is very important that the moment you realize that you have stepped on a nail you go to the doctor, since the Clostridium tetani bacteria that produces the well-known tetanus could enter your body, which poses a risk to your health.
What to do if you stick a rusty nail in your foot
You have to pay special attention to the nail you have stepped on, because if it was rusty there is more chance that tetanus has entered your body, so you will have to go quickly to the doctor to get the tetanus vaccine as soon as possible, especially if your last dose was 5 years ago or more, or if you have never been vaccinated against this bacterium.
In case of not being able to go directly, you will have to try to heal the puncture wounds made by the nails, or even if they are scrapes, to avoid a worsening until you can go to the doctor.
How to heal a nail wound on the foot: cures for puncture wounds
Once you know the most basic thing to do in such a situation, we clarify how to heal a deep wound in the foot because, if for any reason you cannot go directly to the doctor, you must disinfect the wound, which is usually a puncture wound and, therefore, deep.
- The first thing you will have to do is squeeze your wound so that all the blood comes out (in case the nail was infected).
- When you notice that almost no blood comes out or that very little comes out, you must clean the wound well, you can use soap and water and clean both the wound and all its surroundings.
- Next, dry everything and apply some antiseptic such as hydrogen peroxide, alcohol or povidone iodine.
In addition to these indications on how to heal a nail wound on the foot, you may also be interested in how to care for an open wound.
What happens if you stick a rusty nail in your foot – tetanus
After performing the first aid explained above to heal a deep wound on the foot made by a nail, you have to remember to prevent tetanus or try to stop its progress.
Tetanus is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani, which causes an infection when it penetrates your body through a wound thrown with a contaminated object (a nail for example) and affects the nervous system. This infection has ended the life of the person on many occasions because it has not been treated in time.
When you acquire tetanus, it is distributed throughout your body, producing general discomfort and muscle contractures that cause a lot of pain. This bacterium can enter your body in the same way if you have an open or incised wound and touch other contaminated things, such as the feces of an infected animal, and these feces maintain direct contact with your wound.
Types of tetanus
There are 3 types of tetanus:
- The generalized: which is the most frequent of all, producing all the symptoms that we will describe later, the localized, which consists of the muscle contraction of a single area of the body, although it is very rare.
- The brain: which produces muscle contraction in the neck and head only.
- Neonatal: which affects newborns where mothers have not been vaccinated and childbirth has been poorly controlled. In addition, studies affirm that mortality from neonatal tetanus is high in Niakhar and Senegal, being more frequent in the rainy season and affecting more children than girls.
Symptoms of tetanus
Tetanus, in its initial phase, manifests itself with general symptoms mostly, which are:
- Muscle pain
With the passage of time, and if it is not treated, different symptoms appear, such as the contraction of the facial muscles and jaw. Then there is a stiffness in the muscles of the neck and head, as well as the abdominals and back. And finally, in the most advanced stage, the muscles of the legs and arms, the larynx and ribs are affected, also causing the diaphragm to be affected, and hence the difficulty in breathing.
Generally, there are also quite painful spasms in the neck due to loud noises, drafts, a light or a physical rub, thus hindering your routine. Other symptoms include fever, perspiration, rapid heart rate, and elevated blood pressure.
When to get the tetanus vaccine
It is important to consult with your doctor about the tetanus vaccine to prevent this problem. This vaccine has inactive tetanus toxins that cannot cause damage to your body, since the disease does not develop, but causes your body to produce antibodies against it.
Normally, the tetanus vaccine is given alongside other vaccines, thus forming a combination. In the vaccination schedule, 5 doses of antitetanus are recommended: at 2, 4 and 11 months, at 5-6 years and at 13-14 years, then you will only have to put a reminder of the vaccine every so often.
Now, if you have stepped on a nail and it has been 5 years or more of your last dose, it will be necessary to go to the doctor to inject it as soon as possible and prevent the appearance of the symptoms described above. In addition to this vaccine, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for pain and so that the wound does not become infected.
It is very important to bring this vaccine up to date, since different studies have ensured that this disease has a mortality of 50%, while patients who overcome it have a good prognosis and complete recovery.