One of my favorite terms in writing this blog is the term “foreign bodies.” Okay, it makes me giggle a little each time I hear the term. (I have found that the doctor does not share my humor about this term. It must be something about studying this seriously in school.)
“A foreign body or sometimes known as FB (Latin: corpus alienum) is any object originating outside the body…
Foreign bodies can be inert or irritating. If they irritate they will cause inflammation and scarring. They can bring infection into the body or acquire infectious agents and protect them from the body’s immune defenses. They can obstruct passageways either by their size or by the scarring they cause. Some can be toxic.”
Since we talk about feet here, here are some examples of foreign bodies that can affect the foot.
4 Types of foreign bodies
1. Wood – includes splinters, thorns, tooth pics
3. Metal – includes nails, fish hooks, pins, tacks, needles
4. Graphite – pencil
Let’s face it; most foreign bodies that we experience will be because you are in your bare feet, wearing flip flops, or possibly wearing sandals. For the most part, having exposed skin on the foot can lead to the possibility of having a foreign body experience. (Which is different from having an out of body experience.)
What to do if you have a foreign body in your foot
If it is protruding and you can remove it, then remove it and immediately clean the area with soap and water. Bandage the area. Any cut in the foot is an easy way for bacteria to get into your body. Make sure you keep the area clean and dry.
If it is a splinter and you cannot easily pull it out, then it is time for an alternative treatment. Please do not go after a splinter that does not have a piece that you can grab with tweezers. If you go in with tweezers you run the risk of pushing it further back under your skin. Instead try one of the following remedies after you clean the affected area:
1. Put the affected area in a bowl of white vinegar for 30 minutes. You should be able to remove the splinter as it will move to the top of the skin. Pull the tail out with tweezers.
2. Take some baking soda and make a paste of it with water. Apply to the area with the splinter. Put a band aid over the area and wait 24 hours. The splinter should move to the top of the skin and can be removed with tweezers.
3. Put a piece of duct tape over the area with the splinter. Remove the duct tape in the opposite direction from the way the splinter went into your skin.
If you cannot remove the foreign body or you are in pain, you need to go to your friendly local podiatrist to check the area and remove the foreign body.
If you start running a fever or the area where the foreign body is has gotten red and hot or there are red streaks going from the area up your leg, GET TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IMMEDIATELY.
These are signs of an infection that must be treated. And really if you are in pain, it is time to see the doctor.
I hope that you have a wonderful summer free of foreign bodies. They tend to put a damper on things so please be careful.