Hey BPL crew,
I'm exploring different non-antibiotic topical first aid treatments that work ON THE TRAIL, not just at home, for a common trail infection:
The Infected Big Toe
(at the side of the toenail, from hangnail or pressure). Imagine it is very painful, red, hot and swollen, such that you begin to limp and it is hard to sleep. Not an open wound, but under the skin.
I know triple anti-biotic works and that it works well on the trail, I've used it for this exact first aid scenerio on the JMT last year. However, I'd like to find other non-antibiotic options. I think I have found one (listed below), but I would like to hear what other BPL users have had success (or failure) with.
I've tried several natural remedies with success or failure in regards to this particular first aid issue in an on the trail setting, not only comfy at home where everything cures up much easier:
1. Honey and propolis based products - very minor success. Would help cure at home, but not on the trail, where conditions are less friendly. Note: works for other types of first aid like a cut.
2. Tea Tree Oil - almost success. Just not quite enough for trail use. Used successfully on staff infection at home, on the trail it was not quite strong enough for this infection, good for cuts and scrapes among other things.
3. Nutribiotic Skin Ointment with 2% Grapefruit Seed Extract and L-Lysine - excellent results, full success at home, seems to work as well as triple antibiotic, need to try on trail. I recently had this very toe infection after a 3-day hike and a week of work in tight boots. The above ointment worked in one night, where all the other natural remedies failed. Having used triple antib I can pretty much tell it is equally as strong. I'm excited to try it on the trail for more extensive testing. But my work is on a ranch and in boots all day walking in high heat, so it is pretty much like being on a hike.
As for technique, each night I cleaned the area with soap and water or chlorine and water, dried, applied topical and taped lightly with a breathable tape in an over-toe and around-toe formation, as shown in Fixing Your Feet.
Oh and by the way, please spare us the "antibiotics work, so you don't need anything else..." replies. I know and admit that they work, but for my own reasons I am interested in other treatments that also work. Sorry to have to add this note, but I've been plagued by posters who have nothing useful to say on these subjects and just want to take a stab.
Ok, happy note now!