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Dansville, NY
A 18-year-old female asked:

i stepped on a nail last night. it wasn't rusty. it only went in an inch or two. i cleaned it right after. could i have tetanus?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Puncture wounds: can be particularly worrisome regarding infection. An inch or two is actually pretty deep. If you haven't had a tetanus shot in the last ten years - that is a must. I would encourage you to have this medically addressed.
Dr. Anne Phelan-adams
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Rust on a nail is an indication that the nail has been in the environment a while. It's not the rust, but the bacteria that have accumulated on the nail that are the concern. Tetanus is uncommon but infections from puncture wounds from a dirty objects are common.
Jun 20, 2017
Dr. Clarence Grim
Endocrinology 57 years experience
Agree get you shot.
Jun 22, 2017

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I stepped on a nail in our yard. What should I do?

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Dr. Arthur Heller
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Clean the wound, tet: Clean the wound, make sure your tetanus shot is up to date- good for 8-10 years. Depending on how deep the wound may need antibiotics. Call your doc.
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Dr. Leonard Lado
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A 21-year-old member asked:

Can I only get tetanus if I step on a rusty nail?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Any wound a problem: Tetanus spores from the dirt can get into any break in your skin and potentially germinate. Over time the growing germs may elaborate the tetanus toxin and give you tetanus. The rusty nail scene is the one most talked about, but any dirty wound in a susceptable person can be a source.

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Last updated Nov 27, 2017
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