Bug Bite?

I am an RN on an Oncology unit and I see a lot of MRSA.  I got an ant bite between my toes and it has been there for over 3 months now.  It was big and itched bad until I had to go on Cipro for a respiratory infection.  Now it is smaller and only itches and does not hurt anymore.  I need to know about getting rid of it. I heard if it is MRSA, then I can not work until I test negative.  I am single and have only my income.  What can I do? I am scared that I may have it and dont know what to do.  Thanks for any advise you can give me. 

God bless, Nancy

Hi Nancy,

Oncology nurses work extremely hard – and you are surrounded by doctors. I usually can’t make it through rounds without a nurse having me look at their foot. But, I imagine the oncology unit doesn’t see too many podiatrists.

Okay, like any doc, I will help give you some advice but need a better history first. 

In the meantime, try not to scratch the bite as that can increase the likelyhood of infection. 

It is surprising that it hase been persisting for 3 months. Are you sure it is a ant bite? How did you get the bite and where? What kind of ant?

Is your health compromised in any way–diabetes, poor circulation etc?

Is the bite raised or flat?

Is there any redness surrounding the bite or is there redness extending up your foot or toes?

Is there a rash around the bite?

Is the bite an open sore (an ulcer)?

Is there any drainage or pus? (Is it infected?)

Where on the toe is it located? (Is there constant pressure against the bite from the adjacent toes?

It would be helpful if you could take a photo of it. 

Dr. Nirenberg

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2 Responses to Bug Bite?

  1. crnnurse12 says:

    thanks for contacting me. Nope, not many Podiatrist on Oncology…sure wish there was. About 3 to 4 months ago, I had a fireant (red one) bite me at my pool. It is between my big toe and the next one. It is about a dime size with redness around it and a tiny white dot in the middle. It is not edematous rite now but when you touch it, it is extremely hard like a nodule is under the skin. Ofcourse, i get alot of pressure there when working 12 hour shifts. There is no drainage and looks like a dried up ant bite. About a month ago, i squeezed it but nothing came out. Then it was not so swollen. After taking Cipro, I noticed it got smaller . I got some Bactiban and am going to try it. My fear is that I work with alot of MRSA. I have a compromised immune system anyway as I have been exposed to Hep B and C. I do not have an active infection but carry the Hep. My titers are almost undetectable. I am 56 years old and have alot of things going on with me. I have bad bad osteoporosis in my lumbar, alot of spinal problems, chronic clusterheadaches that are now in remission because of pain management. Back to the bite….there is no redness except in the dime size around it…the area is barely raised. There is no redness going up my legs or no rash. I have a family history of diabetes but my blood sugar is ok. Runs around 85 to 100. I do have some edema in my ankles due to several factors…working long hours and some of my medications cause swelling. I hope I have answered all your questions and again, thanks for caring enough to answer me. I am afraid if I do have MRSA in my toe, I will be put out of work until it is cleared up and I cant be out of work rite now. I know I am not exposing my feet to anyone. I have no other areas on my body like this…Thanks for any help you can give me. God bless, nancy

  2. Dr. Nirenberg says:

    You may have an inclusion cyst now or a foreign body in your foot, perhaps from the ant’s bite. If so, it will need to be cut out. In addition, there could be infection present – it is hard to say without examining it. See a podiatrist and hopefully, they can cut it out in the office, put you on some good antibiotics and that will be the end of it. Soaking your foot in diluted betadine solution may also help.

    I hope this helps. Please let me know what the podiatrist does and how you do.

    Dr. Nirenberg

    PS – Since you are not a patient; I can’t technically give out medical advice – other than, ultimately, it’s best to see a podiatrist for it.

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