Stepped On Nails: Symptoms and Signs of Infection
The symptoms of a stepped on nail are similar to other infections such as strep throat or chicken pox. You may experience fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, back pain and sore throat. If you have been bitten by a tick while outside and your body is still infected with Lyme disease then you will likely develop these symptoms too.
If you think you might have stepped on a nail, then see your doctor immediately. There are several things that could cause you to step on a nail. Here’s how they work together:
A nail is sharp and hard enough to pierce through skin without breaking it. A nail piercing into flesh causes blood vessels to burst and pus to leak out. Blood clots form which can lead to stroke or heart attack later in life.
What Causes a Nail to Step on Your Skin?
Nails are made up of keratin (the same material used in human fingernails). Keratin is a tough substance that is very strong. When nails grow, the growth occurs at different rates depending upon the person. Some people have thicker nails than others. If you have thickened nails, then you may not be able to break through your skin easily when stepping on a nail. Other factors include genetics and diet. A diet high in iron can lead to stronger nails, but this is also a result of genetics. Regardless of whether the nail breaks the skin or not, it will still cause damage and pain.
What Are the Types of Nails You Can Step On?
There are several types of nails you can step on:
Wooden Nails: These are still in use today by various people and government agencies. Wooden nails are easy to acquire, easy to transport and simple to use. The major drawback is that they have to be replaced after every use.
Metal Nails: These are stronger than their wooden counterparts and come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be used for a single job and then disposed of or reused multiple times. The trade off is that metal nails are heavier than wooden ones.
Metal Claws: These are metal nails that have been molded into different shapes. These are used for digging and grasping things. When these nails get stepped on, they cause horrible lacerations that can lead to significant blood loss and shock. These claws are often used in animal traps.
Steel Tacks: These are small pointed pieces of metal that have one side flat so they can be easily embedded in carpets and flooring. If you step on one of these it will likely break the skin and embed itself into your foot.
Stepped on Nail: First-Aid
If you have been stepped on a nail, then use your first aid training to control bleeding and prevent infection. The best way to do this is by elevation. Elevating the injured foot will allow blood to flow back into the rest of your body. Raise the foot above the level of your heart. You can do this by lying down and placing the foot on a chair or standing with the foot propped up against a wall.
Next, apply pressure to the wound to prevent bleeding and contamination. Use any cloth or fabric you have available such as a T-shirt or pair of socks. Do not remove anything that is embedded in your skin without proper medical equipment; doing so could cause further injury and infection. If the bleeding continues for more than ten minutes, then seek immediate medical attention.
Finally, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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