Font Size
A
A
A

Finger Infection (cont.)

What Are Complications of Finger Infections?

Infections of the nail or the fingertip, such as paronychia or felon, usually resolve without any complications.

With the infections that involve deep structures, such as infectious flexor tenosynovitis, even with the best care the outcome may be less than desirable. Complications include loss of function, loss of sensation, disfigurement, or even loss of the finger.

Is It Possible to Prevent a Finger Infection?

Common sense safety practices will help prevent many of the finger wounds that become a problem.

  • Wearing protective work gloves may prevent injury.
  • Wearing latex or vinyl gloves is mandatory if possible exposure to bodily fluids is expected.
  • Avoid chewing on the nails, and wash the hands as needed.
  • Seek early medical attention before an infection is present.

What Is the Prognosis of Finger Infections?

If the infections are treated early and properly, the prognosis for full recovery is good. However, if treatment is delayed, or if the infection is severe, the prognosis is not as good.

The doctor will need to evaluate each case individually and present the likely outcome based on the findings.

Finger Infection Pictures

Picture of flexor tendon sheaths and radial and ulnar bursae. Image courtesy of Randle L Likes, DO.
Picture of flexor tendon sheaths and radial and ulnar bursae. Image courtesy of Randle L Likes, DO.

Picture of a herpetic whitlow. Image courtesy of Glen Vaughn, MD.
Picture of a herpetic whitlow. Image courtesy of Glen Vaughn, MD.

Picture of a moderate paronychia. Swelling and redness around the edge of the nail is caused by a large pus collection under the skin. Image courtesy of Christina L Kukula, DO.
Picture of a moderate paronychia. Swelling and redness around the edge of the nail is caused by a large pus collection under the skin. Image courtesy of Christina L Kukula, DO.

Picture of drainage of pus from a paronychia. Image courtesy of Glen Vaughn, MD.
Picture of drainage of pus from a paronychia. Image courtesy of Glen Vaughn, MD.

Picture of a paronychia can progress to a felon if left untreated. Image courtesy of A paronychia can progress to a felon if left untreated. Image courtesy of Glen Vaughn, MD.
Picture of a paronychia can progress to a felon if left untreated. A paronychia can progress to a felon if left untreated. Image courtesy of Glen Vaughn, MD.

Picture of a subungual hematoma
Picture of a subungual hematoma

REFERENCES:

Fox, Jarod. "Felon." Medscape.com. Feb. 29, 2016. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/782537-overview>.

Goldstein, Beth G., et al. "Paronychia." UpToDate.com. June 23, 2017. <https://www.uptodate.com/contents/paronychia?source=search_result&search=paronychia&selectedTitle=1~59>.

Sebastin, Sandeep, Kevin C. Chung, and Shimpei Ono. "Overview of Hand Infections." UpToDate.com. Mar. 2016. <http://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-hand-infections?source=search_result&search=finger+infection&selectedTitle=1~150>.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

Must Read Articles Related to Finger Infection

Cellulitis
Cellulitis Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the sk...learn more >>
Fungal Nail Infection (Onychomycosis)
Onychomycosis Onychomycosis is an infection of the fingernails and/or toenails by fungus. The infection causes nails to discolor, thicken, and split, which can cause discomfo...learn more >>
Paronychia (Nail Infection)
Paronychia (Nail Infection) An infection that develops along the edge of the learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Finger Infection:

Finger Infection - Treatment

What treatment has been effective for your finger infection?

Finger Infection - Home Remedies

What home remedy effectively treated your fingernail infection?

Finger Infection - Symptoms and Signs

What are the symptoms and signs of your finger infection?


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Paronychia »

Paronychia is a soft tissue infection around a fingernail.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary