Self-treatment is good, as long as it is the Appropriate Treatment.

We have visited this subject in previous blogs and will again clinically on a weekly if not daily basis.

Too frequently we encounter situations where patients have incorrectly self-diagnosed or clinicians from other medical disciplines have with good intentions attempted to offer guidance.

In this case, the patient was diagnosed with a planter wart (verruca pedis) and had been self-treating with topical applications of Salicylic acid.

A few weeks into treatment this pain was becoming worse and the area showed signs of inflammation and swelling, with the black area in the middle becoming larger and distended. At this point, he decided to give us a call.

Upon examination, it became obvious this was not a plantar wart but a foreign object protruding through the obviously infected wound. Upon debridement what appeared to be a piece of a stationary staple was removed and a large cavity of infected fluid was debrided and flushed. Fortunately, this patient was in excellent health with no additional systemic health issues to complicate matters, so the episode should pass quickly with good wound care and antibiotics.

infected wound on 5th metatarsal head

Again the moral of the story is look before you leap or check with someone who knows the terrain!.  In many cases, our patients participate in the delivery of their treatment. This improves outcomes and is more efficient. The most important thing is the patient has the confidence of a proper diagnosis and has a variety of treatment plans presented and the rationale to choose the best one for them.

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