Friday, August 15, 2008

It Has Come To This

I lack two things: health insurance and shame.  Thus, I ask you gentle readers (especially those of you who are medical professionals), does this look infected?  It has looked a lot worse, but it comes and goes.  I have been told that I have psoriasis (on another part of my body)—could this be the same thing?  Does it look familiar to anyone?  That orange-ish dot up near the nail is part of it—it ain't no freckle.  There is sometimes a clear, gooey secretion, and it itches when I touch it.  (I try not to touch it.)  Believe me, I wouldn't bother you with this if I could be like a normal person and go to the doctor.  I've already been to the doctor for a couple of unrelated reasons this year, and I'm not paying $100 to have someone check out a little toe rash.  Someday, I hope to have health insurance.  Until then, "Does This Look Infected?" may become a regular feature of this blog.  Thank you for your time, and for your vast medical knowledge.

11 comments:

  1. I am far removed from primary care medicine, but I will ask Peter Pereira to take a look at the photo.

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  2. Hi Matt: C Dale sent me the link.
    I'd say dyshidrotic eczema, with impetigo (secondary infection). I'd treat with topical steroids (Hydrocortisone or triamcinolone)and some antibiotics. It's not the clearest picture, I'd know better looking at it up close and personal . . . ~grin~

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  3. Thanks! This toe has not been treating me well of late. The nail seems to be ingrown or something because when I tried to file it down this morning, blood starting seeping out. I've been hobbling around all morning.

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  4. Hi Peter, thanks a bunch. I'd been thinking about impetigo ever since I found it on WebMD, a site I usually avoid because it exacerbates my hypochondriac tendencies. And I have had trouble with eczema on other areas in the past.

    Yeah, I wish the resolution was better--then you might be able to see the tiny pinprick-type marks that cover that whole side of the toe. A little like a strawberry...

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  5. Toe? Man, I was about to say your thumb looks really fucked up.

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  6. Don't worry Mark, my toes do look like thumbs. Many before you have made the same mistake.

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  7. I was going to suggest a trim, but if it's ingrown ...

    sorry to see the pain and can relate as of late. Lots of hives for five days and scratching that breaks the skin ... wish there was a cream that actually worked. I might try a little cocaine paste soon. If effective, I'll recommend.

    Good luck!

    Amy

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  8. Toenails are so pointless. All they do is cause trouble.

    When I went to the dermatologist for my other psoriasis/eczema type deal, they gave me a prescription hydrocortisone, and it worked beautifully, but the problem came back as soon as I stopped using it. And they said not to use it longer than 2 weeks because it would end up causing more harm than good. So suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks Dr. Amy :)

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  9. Turn your socks inside out before you wash them. Better yet, don't wear socks. Wear sandals, like Chacos, all year. (You can wear winter socks in the winter.) Keep your shower or bathtub clean. Wash your feet well, then let them air dry before you put socks on, if you must wear socks.

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  10. I work in a highfalutin corporate office, so sandals aren't an option, and socks are a must, but the other stuff makes sense.

    Actually I think I'd rather have foot infections than wear sandals, under any circumstances.

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  11. Go at it with a potato peeler. And think about hiding contraband under that toenail.

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