Simple Finger Infection Can Be Extremely Dangerous! 5 Warning Signs And What To Do If You Think You Have It

Date November 19, 2018

What are finger infections?

There’s no official statistics on finger infections, but they are quite common. They are usually caused by bacteria, mainly Streptococci and Staphylococci, although they may also be caused by a virus. An infection usually develops if there’s an external injury to the finger.

There are several types of finger infections; they are classified according to their specific location and degree. Treatment depends on the extent of infection and overall health of the person affected.

Finger infections should be taken seriously. You shouldn’t try to treat it just with home remedies or wait until it passes. If there are signs that your finger is infected, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

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What are the types of finger infections?

Main types of finger infections include the following:

  • paronychia, which is limited to the tissue around the fingernail;
  • felon, which affects the fingertip;
  • herpetic whitlow, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus and is usually limited to the fingertip;
  • cellulitis, which affects the skin and may affect the tissue just beneath it;
  • deep space infection, which is more serious, as it affects deeper tissues and structures of the finger and hand, including tendons and muscles;
  • infections flexor tenosynovitis, which is a type of deep space infection and affects the tendons and tendon sheaths.

What are the symptoms of finger infections?

As with other infections, the area involved may be affected by the following symptoms:

  • redness;
  • swelling;
  • pain;
  • tenderness;
  • pus.

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If the infection affects deeper tissues, the movement of the hand and fingers may be limited and/or painful.

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What causes finger infections?

A finger infection may develop as a result of the following:

  • puncture wounds;
  • cuts;
  • burns;
  • animal or insect bites or stings;
  • biting on nails and cuticles;
  • penetrating injuries;
  • crush injuries.

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Who is more likely to develop a finger infection?

Not all people whose fingers get injured develop an infection. But if one or more of the following factors apply to you, you may be at a higher risk:

  • diabetes and other conditions that cause nerve damage;
  • poor blood circulation in the hands and fingers;
  • working as a dentist, nurse, hygienist, physician, or in other professions that involve contact with bodily fluids of other people.

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If I have a finger infection, what should I do?

If you have a finger infection, don’t try to treat it at home, especially if you have diabetes or any other conditions that cause nerve damage and poor blood circulation. See your doctor as soon as possible about a finger infection.

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Treatment will depend on the extent of the infection and can involve topical and oral antibiotics (or even IV antibiotics, if the infection is serious) and drainage of the pus. Surgery may be needed if the infection is serious.

The outlook for finger infections is good if they are treated promptly.

Source: EMedicineHealth, Medical News Today

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.