Sometimes, when you have a problem with your foot, you look up ways to treat the problem at home. Home treatments are great for some injuries. For example, a sprain can be treated at home with a compression bandage and some ice packs to reduce inflammation.
However, sometimes, home treatments are ineffective; or worse, they are downright dangerous. For problems like warts, blisters and calluses, ingrown toenails, cracked heels, and toenail infections, don't be tempted to try self-surgery. Here are the risks of self-surgery and why you should leave some foot problems for the podiatrist to handle.
You Put Yourself at Risk for Infection
One of the biggest risks with trying to dig out a wart yourself or with trying to cut away parts of your ingrown toenail without help is that you drastically increase your risk of infection. Feet are one of the least-clean parts of your body, and when you cut open your skin with a tool, you open your feet up to bacteria. You also can't be sure that the instrument you use is sterile. People use all sorts of home items for self-surgery, including nail clippers (which are often shared between family members, increasing their potential for causing infection from kitchen knives and scissors).
The Problem Might Not Be Fixed
Working out a foot injury on your own might bring you satisfaction in the moment because you get temporary relief, or the problem is temporarily fixed. However, the fix might not last, which means you risked infection and suffered through the pain of operating on yourself for nothing. Warts, especially, are hard to get rid of without professional care, but people often try to cut them off, dig them out, or even burn them off at home. The warts return, often bigger and more established than they were, to begin with. Instead, make an appointment with a podiatrist to have the warts treated.
You Could Make It Worse
In some cases, you could end up making a bad problem worse. For example, if you cut away some of your toenail because it is ingrown, you might actually shape the nail in a way that makes it possible for the ingrown toenail to get worse over time, making your ingrown toenail issue more chronic. If you get an infection, you need treatment with antibiotics, and you need to still have your foot wound looked at by a doctor.
If you have any foot problems, visit a podiatrist near you about wound care.
When you have an ingrown toenail, it can be tempting to take care of the problem on your own. Armed with a set of tweezers and some nail clippers, you might be ready to get in there and take care of business. Unfortunately, a few missteps could lead to a serious infection. I have made this mistake myself, and it almost cost me my toe. I hope that as you evaluate your own foot problems that you will remember how valuable a podiatrist can be. Your foot doctor can inspect your problem and recommend the proper course of action. Read through my website to learn more.