Description and Precautions
Lacerated, cut, or bleeding toes, especially those associated with a fracture or dislocation, can lead to serious problems if they are not treated properly and immediately.
Severely bruised toes can swell to such an extent that the blood vessels in the toes are compressed so that enough blood does not come into the toe to allow proper healing of the wound.
If you have diabetes, poor circulation, other systemic diseases, or you are taking blood thinners, even a minor tear in the skin can become a serious problem if not treated immediately by a doctor.
Deep wounds, those which expose bone and tendons, or wounds which are filled with dirt and other contaminants must also be treated immediately by a doctor, in order to prevent serious infection.
You need to use common sense when treating wounds and lacerations. If you are not sure of the extent of your injury, see a doctor immediately!
If the wound does not fit into the above categories, you can try the following:
- Wash the wound with a mild soap and gauze pad. Scrub out any superficial dirt. Wash the wound again with hydrogen peroxide, and dry it with a clean kleenex. If deeper contaminants are present, see a doctor immediately.
- Stop the bleeding. This is done with mild pressure on the wound, while keeping the leg elevated (at least to the horizontal position). Applying ice for 5 minutes will also stop most superficial wounds from bleeding. If you can not stop the bleeding, go to the emergency room immediately!
- Apply an antibiotic cream to the wound, and cover with sterile gauze and tape. Apply mild compression to the wound to keep it from bleeding. Make sure that the tip of the toe is left unbandaged, so that you can check to make sure that the color and temperature of the toe are normal. If the bandage is too tight the toe will be a pale or blue color, it may be cool to the touch, and it may be throbbing. If any of these symptoms are present, remove the bandage because it is too tight; otherwise it will cut off the circulation to the toe. This is dangerous. Re-apply the bandage with less compression. If the above signs occur again, see a doctor immediately. Leave this bandage on for 8 hours.
- During the first 8 hours stay off your foot, elevate it, and keep all pressure off of it.
- After 8 hours remove the bandage. If it is still bleeding, see a doctor immediately.
If the bleeding has stopped, then do the following:
- To one quart LUKEWARM water, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salts, and soak the toe for 15 minutes. This acts to disinfect the wound, dry it, and soothe it.
- Pat it dry with a clean kleenex. Apply antibiotic cream, and cover with gauze and a minimal amount of tape (air is needed to heal the wound and too much tape, and band-aids, prevent air from getting to the wound).
- Repeat (a) and (b) every 8 hours, until the wound heals. This may take 4 days to 2 weeks, depending on: where on the toe the wound is located, its length and depth, and any other trauma the toe has sustained.
- Our Injury Shoe will allow the cut to heal more quickly by preventing movement of the injured toe, and by keeping all pressure off of it. This also reduces the pain.
- When bathing, keep the wound and toe dry. This can be done with plastic bags over the toe or the entire foot. This helps to prevent the wound from becoming infected.
If you follow the above suggestions, the wound should heal quickly and completely. However, if you see any signs of infection such as: pus, increased redness, swelling, warmth, or continued bleeding and pain, see a doctor immediately.