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Soaking an infection in salt water

 
 
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 06:50 pm
If you get a minor infection under your fingernail does it really help to soak it in warm salt water or is that just an old wives tale?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 26,253 • Replies: 26
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 06:51 pm
It's what the doctor told me to do for my infected finger.
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InTraNsiTiOn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 06:52 pm
Yes, but did it work?
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roverroad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 06:55 pm
panzade wrote:
It's what the doctor told me to do for my infected finger.


Thanks for the quick reply. I've heard it's helpfull to gargle salt water if you have an infected tooth, but i wasn't sure about soaking a finger. You also hear salt in an open wound as a bad thing.
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roverroad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 06:56 pm
stand up for pessimism wrote:
Yes, but did it work?


Not yet, i started.
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InTraNsiTiOn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 07:00 pm
roverroad wrote:
stand up for pessimism wrote:
Yes, but did it work?


Not yet, i started.


Sorry for not being specific, that question was for panzade, but that's ok, i learned something from you aswell. I've used salt water for such things as canker sores, I didn't find that it did anything but burn, but let us know how it works for you!
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 08:28 pm
Pess, I heard this on another a2k thread awhile back, so you know I'm not making it up. The advice was to use Preparation H. The name eludes me at the moment, but she is a retired pharmacist.
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InTraNsiTiOn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 08:56 pm
Dude, I don't have hemroids, infact I have nothing that requires medical attention...lol...you're funny! Just razzin ya!
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roverroad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 10:06 pm
Well, I tried the salt water for about an hour, aside from my hand feeling like a slab of salt pork it worked pretty well. The sticky puss went away and it's not generating anymore heat. So I guess it's not an old wives tale. It really does work.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 10:07 pm
well, salt is used to cure things so that they last for long periods of time. I'd guess that that process kills bacteria that can cause the food to rot. So, it'd make sense. I know I used iodine after surgery to remove a plantar's wart. Maybe the added iodine that is found in salt is the key? But, I don't think so. What kind of infection do you have?
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 10:27 pm
Salt water lyses bacterial membranes, something to do with the concentration of salts inside and outside the bacterial membrane. Iodine kills bacteria by itself, I forget how at this point. Not sure what any of them would do for fungus, or bacterial spores. Washing out a cut is good... you don't want to close a cut over soil... re possibility of tetanus (clostridium tetani?) which I think is an anaerobic bacterium with spores that can be found in soil. I think staph aureus has spores too, and think you find it in soil and on the skin ordinarily.

This is all from old memory so don't trust me, listen to your md.
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roverroad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 10:41 pm
littlek wrote:
well, salt is used to cure things so that they last for long periods of time. I'd guess that that process kills bacteria that can cause the food to rot. So, it'd make sense. I know I used iodine after surgery to remove a plantar's wart. Maybe the added iodine that is found in salt is the key? But, I don't think so. What kind of infection do you have?


That would make sense. I'm not sure how I got it. It just kind of showed up on the side of my fingernail yesterday. I wasn't too worried about it till it started hurting all the way up into my arm.

The only thing I can think of is that I was polishing furniture without gloves. I must have gotten some under the nail and it caused an infection.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 10:49 pm
What, Roverroad? That could be serious, you should see a doctor.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 11:02 pm
I've had such infections. Better than salt water, though, is Magnesium Sulfate. You can find this, Epsom Salts, on the shelf in any drug store. I have asked doctors is this is effective and everyone i've asked said it is fine for the extremities. NOT TO BE TAKEN INTERNALLY. Put about a rounded teaspoon in a coffee mug filled with the hottest tap water you can stand, stir it well, and insert your finger. Keep it there until the water cools, or at least fifteen minutes. If this doesn't clear it up, SEE YOUR DOCTOR.
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roverroad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 11:25 pm
Setanta wrote:
I've had such infections. Better than salt water, though, is Magnesium Sulfate. You can find this, Epsom Salts, on the shelf in any drug store. I have asked doctors is this is effective and everyone i've asked said it is fine for the extremities. NOT TO BE TAKEN INTERNALLY. Put about a rounded teaspoon in a coffee mug filled with the hottest tap water you can stand, stir it well, and insert your finger. Keep it there until the water cools, or at least fifteen minutes. If this doesn't clear it up, SEE YOUR DOCTOR.


I will try that. If it starts getting worse I will see a doctor. I'd rather not have to pay for another trip to a doctors office though if this is going to work. This seems to be working. If it's not better by tomorrow moring I'll go to the doctor.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2004 11:48 pm
Well, it's not going to work overnight, but it should halt any progression of the infection pretty quickly. The magnesium sulfate will act more quickly than normal saline.
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princesspupule
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2004 12:24 am
For infections caused by splinters, my bf swears cabbage is the best treatment. He just puts a piece of a leaf of raw cabbage on a clean wound and bandages it up. I've seen the results and plan to try it next time I have a splinter.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2004 08:12 am
Rover - have you had a tetnus shot in the last few years?
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roverroad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2004 08:11 pm
That infection's pretty much gone now. It's just a little tender now. No, I haven't had a tetnis shot. I should probably take care of that.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Aug, 2004 08:28 pm
Yes, do, it is no big deal and really smart to do, just in case.
0 Replies
 
 

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