Baby has infected toe- help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My seven week old has an infected big toe. It's swollen up pretty badly, and there's a pus pocket. I think it's an ingrown nail, though I can't imagine why- we've never cut his toenails.

 

I've called the doctor- waiting to hear back about what we should do.

 

I'm nervous they'll prescribe antibiotics. I'm open to giving them to him if thats really what he needs, but I often feel they've over prescribed. And, I'm worried about the effect of antibiotics on his very delicate 7 week old gut.

 

Anyone had this before with their children? Did you use antibiotics? If not, what else worked?

 

Anything topical I can give him for the pain? He has been screaming all day and I can't seem to calm him, poor guy.


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#2 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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not topical but you can use tylenol or motrin.. we always preferred motrin (baby kind, without dye)..

can you soak his foot in a bowl of warm epsom salts for a while and then try to put peroxide on it?  i'd try that... see if you can get the infection out.


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#3 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, I will give that a try. Don't know how long he'll tolerate a toe soak. He's a kicker!

 

I used black salve when I had an infected toe. It basically draws out the infection. But I believe one of the ingredients was tar, and I don't know if that's safe for my kiddo.

 

What aboutusing one of the teething gels on his toe, just for the pain relief? I know it wouldn't help the infection, but maybe it would numb the toe for a little while.


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#4 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 04:02 PM
 
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Abbotts finger did that when he was about 10 weeks old! It was SO swollen and shiny and red. When i saw the head on it I just squeezed it out. He cried and cried but it had been hurting him and keepong him awake. Tons of stuff came out, including a huge chunk of nail. It was weird. I peroxided it and it was gone the very next day.

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#5 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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i would second the foot/toe soak. i wouldn't put peroxide on it, it can be really harsh on skin. BUT if it comes to a head try and get the puss out and maybe put on some triple antibiotic topical cream, or something like that and leave it open to air.

poor little baby. :(


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#6 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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I would take him to a Dr., and keep an eye on it - if it gets worse take him in.  I had an infected toe when I was in 5th grade, and we knew it was really bad when there was a red line going up my foot - if you see that, he needs to see a Dr ASAP - it indicates the infection has entered the bloodstream, which is bad.

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#7 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 10:19 PM
 
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My DD had something similar around that age, an infection like an ingrown toenail. We soaked it several times a day in warn salty water and put triple anti-biotic cream (polysporin) and it got better in a day or so. Any longer than that and I would have brought her in to the drs

We figured it was caused by wearing sleepers that were too tight and or rubbing her toes - DD has big feet, and the sleeper was getting pulled against her toes when she was held....so pretty much all the time at that age.

Edited to add- I missed that your LO was screaming in pain and that the toe was so swollen. My DDs toe was not swollen and she didn't mind if we handled it. In your situation, I agree with everyone else who posted that it sounds like you need to seek medical attention immediately. Antibiotics are amazing life-saving medicine when properly prescribed, and 7 weeks is very young for such an infection.
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#8 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I would take him to a Dr., and keep an eye on it - if it gets worse take him in.  I had an infected toe when I was in 5th grade, and we knew it was really bad when there was a red line going up my foot - if you see that, he needs to see a Dr ASAP - it indicates the infection has entered the bloodstream, which is bad.


wow, our dd (who's four) just had this very thing.  when we saw the red line going up the foot, we knew it was serious and brought her to the emergency room (it was a sunday and didn't want to wait).  they had to lance it to drain the pus and then decided it wasn't enough to prescribed an oral antibiotic, they had to give her two injections at once (and then she took them orally for a week).  still have no idea how it got infected.

 

as for your little one, no other ideas (other than what PPs have mentioned).  did you ever hear back from the doc?

 


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#9 of 27 Old 07-15-2011, 11:53 PM
 
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I second the suggestion of tylenol and motrin, especially if he's that much pain. That's a lot for a young baby to handle. My son had an infected finger around that age and we had him on abx. He was fine and the infection cleared pretty quick.


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#10 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 06:31 AM
 
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I would be more worried about the infection turning septic than I would about giving him abx. Probiotics counteract the killing of good bacteria. 

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#11 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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I would be more worried about the infection turning septic than I would about giving him abx. Probiotics counteract the killing of good bacteria. 



You dont' want to find out how fast a little baby can get septic if an infection hits the bloodstream. Err on the side of caution and go get abx now.

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#12 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 07:09 AM
 
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Babies can be born with ingrown toenails so you wouldn't have needed to cut anything for this to happen.

 

With a seven week old, it's really necessary to seek care.  Do you have a pediatrician you can call?  Please have someone in real life check this as soon as possible.  I know it's the weekend but this warrants a call today.  It's never okay to allow a baby be in pain if you can do something to help.  IF you want to use alternative medicine you can talk probiotics after the fact or epsom salt soaks concurrent to the Dr. prescribed treatment, but not in lieu of for such a tiny one.  Best of luck.

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#13 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 07:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hildare View Post

not topical but you can use tylenol or motrin.. we always preferred motrin (baby kind, without dye)..

can you soak his foot in a bowl of warm epsom salts for a while and then try to put peroxide on it?  i'd try that... see if you can get the infection out.



Motrin for a seven-week-old? My doctor always said no ibuprofen before six months because it's hard on their kidneys.

 

I would not give medication to a seven-week-old at all without checking with a doctor first. And I would definitely take this baby to the doctor, even on the weekend, because I would worry that a local infection could turn into sepsis quickly in such a tiny baby.

 

When doctors overprescribe antibiotics, it's usually because parents are pushing for them. Make it clear that you don't want antibiotics unless they are completely medically necessary, and your pediatrician will be delighted to hear it.


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#14 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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I would take your babe to the ped.  You don't wait around with infections in a baby that little.

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#15 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Partaria View Post

Thanks, I will give that a try. Don't know how long he'll tolerate a toe soak. He's a kicker!

 

I used black salve when I had an infected toe. It basically draws out the infection. But I believe one of the ingredients was tar, and I don't know if that's safe for my kiddo.

 

What aboutusing one of the teething gels on his toe, just for the pain relief? I know it wouldn't help the infection, but maybe it would numb the toe for a little while.




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#16 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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Motrin for a seven-week-old? My doctor always said no ibuprofen before six months because it's hard on their kidneys.

 

I would not give medication to a seven-week-old at all without checking with a doctor first. And I would definitely take this baby to the doctor, even on the weekend, because I would worry that a local infection could turn into sepsis quickly in such a tiny baby.

 

When doctors overprescribe antibiotics, it's usually because parents are pushing for them. Make it clear that you don't want antibiotics unless they are completely medically necessary, and your pediatrician will be delighted to hear it.

 

 

This is the best, most appropriate advice.  See the doctor - let them diagnose what is happening, and then discuss your options.  I have never been diagnosed antibiotics against my will.  Most doctors wish patients didn't want them when they're not going to work.  But when they WILL work, why not take them?
 

 

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#17 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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This is the best, most appropriate advice.  See the doctor - let them diagnose what is happening, and then discuss your options.  I have never been diagnosed antibiotics against my will.  Most doctors wish patients didn't want them when they're not going to work.  But when they WILL work, why not take them?
 

 



I agree. Antibiotics are used too much, but that doesn't mean they are never appropriate, and this is a case when they most certainly are! It is great to want to protect his gut, but when the alternatives are more dire...and a gut can be fixed?

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#18 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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I would take your babe to the ped.  You don't wait around with infections in a baby that little.



I completely agree. And NO ibuprofen (Motrin) until 6 months.  But you need to get to the root of the problem.  If that means antibiotics, then give them even though I understand why you want to avoid them.  They are appropriate sometimes.

 

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#19 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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I hope you've taken the baby in by now - even to the ER if that's all you can get on the weekend. Infections are what antibiotics are FOR, and you can always use probiotics if you are worried about his gut. If you wait until it starts to spread it could easily be too late in a child that small. If it gets into his bloodstream, then in such a tiny body it will spread like wildfire and you could easily have a hospitalized child on IV antibiotics. You also don't want to risk him losing the toe. Please, PLEASE go in.

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#20 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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You need to call your doctor now. The fact that is is so severe and baby screams in pain and there is pus is an indication of serious infection that can spread and cause sepsis. 7 week old are very vulnerable.

 

Yes, antibiotics are overuse in modern day America, but there cases when antibiotics are needed.  Go see a doctor who will prescribe a treatment your baby need. I would also be very careful regarding pain meds advice on the Internet. Many infants end up in ER across America because of pain meds overdose by their parents.

I hope your little one feels better soon.

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#21 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Please, do not use peroxide.  Conclusive studies have been done to show that it does not prevent or treat infection and damages the tissue ability of heal a wound by  driving fibroplasts away

Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

not topical but you can use tylenol or motrin.. we always preferred motrin (baby kind, without dye)..

can you soak his foot in a bowl of warm epsom salts for a while and then try to put peroxide on it?  i'd try that... see if you can get the infection out.



 

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#22 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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it sounds extremely painful for the baby, I'm guessing tylenol won't even numb the pain (I know doesn't work for me when something like an infected ingrown toenail hits.  :(

Sounds like one of those times to take your kid to the doctor's? 


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#23 of 27 Old 07-16-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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This is a time I would do what the pediatrician advises. Infections are nothing to fool around with and this is just the kind of thing antibiotics are supposed to be used for.

 

Infections can get out of hand quickly!!!!

 

 

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#24 of 27 Old 07-17-2011, 12:58 AM
 
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Yea, doctor. A seven week old is so delicate. Probiotics afterwards will deal with gut issues. Any infections at that age can turn serious fast.

 

Oh, and because I don't see it mentioned here, ibuprofen cannot be given to infants under 6 months. So the only pain reliever you can use is Tylenol.

 

Let me know how your lo is doing!

 

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#25 of 27 Old 07-19-2011, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the feedback, mamas! We went to the doc that very day. She said it wasn't that bad yet, but said she HAS seen instances where you get that tell-tale red line, which, as you all noted, is mega bad.

 

We're to soak the toe a few times a day in warm water and apply bacitracin.

 

Now the trick is soaking his toe! He is not a fan of it and is a real kicker. DH has to hold him while I hold his toe in a cup of water. It's a wrestling match every time. :)

 

I am wondering if DS got this because he's in a baby carrier of some kind most of the day. He's usually in a newborn hold of some kind, being under 2 months. So his legs are froggied and his feet are confined. Maybe his feet are squeezed too tight?


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#26 of 27 Old 07-19-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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Thanks for the update!  Poor little guy.  I'm glad you took him in.  My dd1 had a staph infection in her thumb when she was 12 days old, I felt so bad for her and I was a new mom that had no idea what I was doing and my IL's suggested we take her to the ER (it was a Sunday night, of course).  Her thumb was so swollen that they lanced it and I couldn't believe the amount of pus that came out of it.  I can't remember what they did for antibiotics. 

 

I don't really know if there is any correlation between frequent sling carrying/squished toes and the infection, maybe someone else can put in their 2 cents.

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#27 of 27 Old 07-21-2011, 11:53 PM
 
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so glad he's ok, Partaria.  it's scary when our little ones aren't well (especially that little).


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