Finger infection

Finger infection – a common health problem. Inflammation can range from very mild to potentially life-threatening. In most cases, this type of infection is mild and amenable to treatment.

Failure to follow the doctor’s instructions may result in permanent damage or loss of the finger.

Early recognition and proper treatment of the following major finger infections will help prevent serious complications:

  • Paronychia – an infection affecting the tissue at the edges of the nails. The inflammation is superficial and is localized in the soft tissues and skin around the nails. It is the most common bacterial infection that affects the fingers and toes. This is a form of panaritium, in which the soft tissues of the entire finger are affected by an inflammatory disease.
  • Infectious flexor tenosynovitis – this infection affects the tendon sheaths whose function is to contract and relax the arm and most often affects people with suppressed immune systems.
  • Deep infection – inflammation of one or more deep structures of the hand or finger, including tendons, blood vessels and muscles. The infection may involve one or more of these structures.

Infection of the finger – what are the varieties and how are they treated

Specifics of the symptoms of a finger infection

Each of the infections that affect the fingers has specific signs and symptoms, so it should be determined by a specialist which one it is about in the specific case.

In paronychia – the area near the nails appears red and swollen. Collection of pus is possible on the skin and nails, and the pathological fluid may begin to leak.

Treatment of finger infection

Self treatment at home

Finger infections can get worse quickly, so home treatment options are limited.

In a mild form, paronychia can be treated at home against the background of good health and the absence of a serious illness which can cause complications such as diabetes.

All other types of finger infections require an examination by a specialist as soon as possible and the appointment of the appropriate treatment.

If therapy is not started promptly, development of severe damage or loss of the affected finger is possible. Therefore, if a finger infection is suspected, the visit to the general practitioner should not be delayed in the least.

A mild and harmless paronychia is wonderfully affected by warm water baths. However, if there is no improvement after 1-2 days, it is good not to delay the consultation with the personal doctor.

The therapy that is applied is antibiotics and proper treatment of the formed wounds.

The appropriate way to treat wounds is different for each type of infection.

Varies from a standard incision and drainage to surgery where all the infected tissue is removed.

Some infections can be treated in an outpatient setting, but sometimes hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics are required. Because the organisms that cause finger infections are similar, the same ones can be used types of antibiotics.


In most cases only care is required, as with a simple puncture wound. If pus has accumulated, drainage is necessary. This can be done in several different ways.

Usually a scalpel is used, through which a small incision is made over the area where the pus has accumulated, allowing it to drain.

The scalpel can be inserted from the edge of the nail to remove the pus.

If the inflammation is greater, it may be necessary to remove part of the nail. If this procedure is necessary, a local anesthetic is placed at the base of the finger. An antibiotic is then prescribed and subsequent treatment is carried out at home.

Panaricium in children

Children are extremely vulnerable to various infectious-inflammatory diseases of the soft tissues of the fingers. The reason is the imperfection of the immune system and the frequent skin injuries they receive. Panaritium can also occur in very young children.

Additional symptoms such as high fever, fever are possible, which are absent in adults, even with purulent forms. The explanation lies in the excessive reactivity of the child’s organism.

The principles of treatment and diagnosis do not differ from those that are used when detecting this type of finger infection in adults.

Stage of panaritium

There are 3 stages of panaritium, on which the tactics of treatment depend. The first stage is the infection, characterized by the penetration of infection into the soft tissues of the finger. It may be asymptomatic. The second stage – infiltration, is accompanied by pain, swelling, redness and inflammation of the affected tissues. Third stage – formation of an abscess, a purulent cavity is formed.

Conservative treatment is possible only in the first and second stages, before the formation of an abscess. When such an entity is formed, the treatment is only surgical.

For this type of finger infection, treatment depends on the stage. If it is in the stage of infiltration, conservative therapy with antibiotics is possible. In the presence of pus, surgical treatment is required. Without proper treatment, the affected finger may be lost due to gangrene.

Medicinal preparations for the treatment of panaritium

Antibacterial therapy is based on the prescription of first-generation cephalosporins or penicillins, which are active against staphylococci. The duration of treatment is 7-10 days. Antibiotics are administered in injection form – intramuscularly or intravenously.

Alternative preparations that are used in the absence of effect are doxycycline, clindamycin and biseptol.

If the finger infection occurs as a result of an injury, a tetanus shot may be necessary. If bitten by animals, especially if they are stray animals, a rabies vaccine is given.

Surgical treatment of panaritium

There are many different methods of surgical treatment of panaritium. The purpose of the operative intervention is to create an edema for pus and to drain the purulent cavity.

The operation for the treatment of panaritium is carried out under local or general anesthesia. For better swelling of pus, latex drains are left in the wound, the wound itself is not sutured, healing is gradual, for several weeks.

In severe cases, when it is impossible to save the finger, amputation is required.

Complications of panaritium

  • Necrosis of the finger;
  • Bone, joint and tendon forms of panaritium;
  • Sepsis;
  • < li>Inflammation of all tissues of the finger with a high risk of subsequent amputation;

  • Incomplete healing with loss of functions of the finger.

How to protect yourself from panaritium


Inflammation of the tissues of the finger is one of those diseases that is much easier to prevent than to treat. It is necessary to observe a number of rules for the prevention of infectious-inflammatory diseases of the soft tissues of the finger.

It is sufficient to avoid prolonged exposure to water, which lowers the body’s defenses, to use sterile tools for manicure and pedicure, to wear protective gloves during work.

In case of injury to the skin, treat cuts and wounds in time, give injections using a bactericidal patch to protect the injured area.

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