One day, a few weeks ago, the side of my thumb, next to the nail, started to feel sore. The next day the soreness had increased, so I tried to relieve the disharmony with acupuncture- just one needle on a point located within the affected area.
Acupuncture didn't seem to help because, the next day, the entire area had grown swollen, red, and hot. I obviously had an infection so I lanced the area and extracted an impressive amount of pus.
Unfortunately, relief did not come; in fact, the condition seemed to worsen, so I headed to Urgent Care where they did exactly what I expected: took my temperature (a fever confirmed the infection) and prescribed antibiotics. I was diagnosed with paronychia and told that if the antibiotics did not work I would likely require a surgical nail bed removal.
I am all for emergency medicine when necessary but the prescribing doctor did not know whether my infection was viral, bacterial, or fungal, so the 3x/ day for 10 days prescription was not guaranteed to work. I knew, however, I was guaranteed to get a secondary infection as a result, because antibiotics wipe out ALL bacteria, including the beneficial kind that keeps the body healthy.
The antibiotics didn't do much for my thumb besides reduce the inflammation, and, as expected, I suffered a secondary infection elsewhere, and after ten days, the paronychia returned with a vengeance.
Enter my colleague, Tony Provencio, who gave me a topical herbal formula called Qing Dai Gao, which he made from indigo, tree bark, gypsum, and talcum. In less than one week of haphazardly applying the ointment to the infection, it has almost completely resolved.
Photos to come! :)
California Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Massage Therapist; mother of two; dancer, yogi, hiker.