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HomeAnswersGeneral Surgerynail infectionMy diabetic mother-in-law has on and off-toe swelling. Why?

What is the reason for toe swelling in a diabetic?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Noushif. M

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Nithila. A

Published At June 24, 2019
Reviewed AtJune 11, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My mother-in-law 72 years old. She gets swelling in her toe on and off for the past year. Recently there was pus inside, and she is having pain. After soaking the toe in hot water and betadine, discharge came out, but it is relapsing again. She had antibiotic too. She has diabetes but under control with medication.

Answered by Dr. Noushif. M


Welcome to icliniq.com.

She has an infection in the nail bed space. Need to focus on three things.

1. Her diabetics need better control. Better diet modification with medicines. HBA1c is too high.

2. The nail needs to be trimmed well regularly, and the area needs to be cared well daily. She may not have a proper sensation at the region due to diabetes. So regular inspection and care is mandatory. She should not walk barefoot, and slippers need to be correctly selected.

3. She needs control of infection. Visit a nearby surgeon (preferably podiatric) for the drainage of pus if present. Take an X-ray to rule out bone involvement and also need to check the blood supply to the region. I hope your queries have been cleared. Please review if any further questions.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Noushif. M
Dr. Noushif. M

Surgical Gastroenterology

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