Doctor's Notes on Finger Infection
A finger infection is an infection of the skin, soft tissue, or bone of the finger. The cause of the infection is typically a virus or bacteria, and a number of different organisms can cause a finger infection. Examples of medical conditions characterized by finger infection include herpetic whitlow, paronychia, felon, infectious flexor tenosynovitis, cellulitis, and deep space infection. Paronychia is a special type of infection that involves the nail.
Symptoms of finger infection can include pain and redness. Other associated symptoms can include swelling, the development of an abscess with drainage of pus, difficulty moving the finger, changes in the nails, and joint pain. The specific symptoms depend on the specific organism that is present along with the type of infection.
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CellulitisCellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and soft tissues that causes swelling, redness, tenderness and warmth. Treatment will involve antibiotics. Severe infection may require IV or intramuscular antibiotic injections.
Fungal Nail Infection (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 discomfort, especially in toenails. Onychomycosis is most common in adults, especially the elderly.
Nail Bed Infection (Paronychia)An infection that develops along the edge of the fingernail or toenail is called a paronychia (pear-ah-NIK-ee-ah). Symptoms and signs include redness and swelling around the nail, pus, and pain. If an abscess has formed, the recommended treatment is to drain the abscess.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.