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Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates
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The Dangers of Swimming with an Ingrown Toenail

Comments (3)

Achildren swimming few years ago a story broke about a girl who had her hands and legs amputated after contracting a flesh eating disease from swimming in a lake with a cut on her leg.  Aimee Copeland, a 24 year old from Georgia, was enjoying a camping trip when she cut her leg on a zip line she and her friends were using to swing into the lake.   A few days later she had lost part of one leg from a flesh eating disease.  It was later determined that both her hands and legs would need to be removed if she had any chance of surviving.  The disease spread at lightening speed, and it was determined that swimming in the lake with the newly formed cut had sealed her fate.

So, what does this have to do with podiatry?  Well, any time you have an open sore on your foot, whether it be an ulcer, cut, or ingrown toenail, it is important to stay out of lakes.  What about pools and the ocean?  Pools have chemicals in them, like chlorine or bromine, which kill the bacteria that would cause an infection.  While oceans don’t have chemicals in them, the high salinity (salty water) keeps bacteria from surviving and feeding on your open wound.

If you have an ingrown toenail or any other type of broken skin on your foot, please give us a call at 309.661.9975.  We will be happy to take a look and help you heal so you can enjoy summer to its fullest!

If your toenail is ingrown the best thing to do is contact a podiatrist, preferably Dr. Lockwood, as soon as possible for treatment!
Posted by Rob Browning on July 1, 2016 at 11:32 AM
So, if you’ve got toe nail fungus, is it safe to go swimming or can you pass the infection to others? The short answer to the question is, yes, you can swim in a swimming pool, as long as the water has been property chlorinated. The chlorine compounds used in swimming pools have disinfectant properties that keep the pool clean, sanitary and free of the causative pathogens of Onychomycosis. But although you can’t transmit the infection through the pool water, you have to take care when walking around the sides of the pool and in communal areas such as showers, locker rooms and changing rooms. Infections are passed through direct contact and these public areas often have the warm, moist conditions in which the fungi that cause nail infections can thrive.
Posted by Rob Browning on July 1, 2016 at 10:16 AM
I have an infected ingrown toenail and I wanted to know if it was safe for to get in a pool that may have chlorine.
Posted by Jose vedia on June 29, 2016 at 11:06 PM

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