5 Essential Steps to Avoid Complications After Stepping on a Nail

Stepping on a nail can be a painful experience because it can puncture a hole deep in the sole of your foot and prevent you from walking for a few days. Once the pain wears off, you must take steps to treat the wound to prevent infection. This article teaches you how to care for a nail puncture and when you should see a doctor.

What To Do Immediately After Getting a Nail Injury

These are essential steps for treating a nail puncture immediately:

Wash Your Hands

You must wash your hands before cleaning the wound to stop it from being affected by bacteria. This can be done with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before drying with a clean cloth.

Stop The Bleeding

Some nail punctures bleed while others don’t. If the wound bleeds, put gentle pressure to stop bleeding and make it clot. However, you should only apply light pressure to prevent worse pain and bleeding.

Clean Your Wound

A dirty or rusty nail can contain bacteria or other germs that can make you sick. Cleaning your wound can help you prevent tetanus. To properly clean your nail wound, start by rinsing the injury with clean water for 5 to 10 minutes. This removes dirt or debris that enters the wound.

You can also use tweezers and rubbing alcohol to remove debris from your wound. Finally, gently clean the skin around the wound with soap, water, and washcloth.

Apply Antibiotic Cream

Cleaning is important, but that’s not all. You also need to stop the puncture from getting infected. This can be done by applying a thin layer of a topical antibiotic cream like Neosporin after cleaning and drying your wound.

Cover Your Wound

It can take multiple days for your wound to heal. You can wrap it up in a bandage to protect it and keep it clean. The bandages should also be changed at least once daily after showering.

When Should You See a Doctor?

You might not have to see your doctor if the nail puncture is small. However, consult your doctor if the nail or wound is dirty or the puncture is deep. If needed, they will give you a tetanus booster shot if you haven’t gotten one in the past 5 years to prevent a tetanus infection.

You should also get a tetanus booster shot if you can’t remember when you had your last one. It’s best to take the shot within 48 hours after your injury. In addition, you should consult your doctor if:

● You’re unable to control bleeding
● You suspect your bone is damaged
● you’re unable to remove a foreign object from your wound


Cleaning your nail puncture on time can help avoid infection and serious scarring. You can also get a tetanus booster shot within 48 hours after the injury to reduce your tetanus risk.