Finger infection is considered as a common issue. It can range from minor to serious, possibly causing lasting loss of function of the affected finger. Oftentimes, these infections start out as a minor one and easy to manage. If a finger infection is not properly treated, it can result to permanent disability and even loss of the finger.
What are the risk factors?
There are various risk factors for a finger infection which includes the following:
- Puncture wounds
- Any type of open wound
- Deep cuts
- Nail biting
- Penetrating trauma
- Picking on hangnails
- Aggressive cuticle trimming and manicuring
There are some individuals who face a higher risk for the infections such as:
- Those with diabetes
- Individuals with weakened immune systems
- Certain occupations such as nurses, dentists and physicians
- Occupations that involves prolonged exposure of the hands to water
When to seek medical care
The objective in preventing disability and potential finger loss is prompt and proper treatment. In case any indications of finger infection are present, a doctor should be consulted right away.
Home remedies for a finger infection
Since a finger infection has the potential to become severe, home care is limited. A mild case of paronychia can be treated at home if the individual does not have other complicating health conditions such as diabetes.
Other forms of infection necessitate immediate assessment and treatment. Since a delay in the treatment can lead to disability or even finger loss, the individual should not hesitate to seek medical care.
A mild case of paronychia typically responds to regular warm water soaks and elevation of the affected hand. Soaking using Epsom salts can soothe and provide relief to the pain but will not resolve the infection. If there is no improvement in 1-2 days, a doctor should be seen at once.
In some cases, apple cider vinegar possesses antibacterial properties and has been recognized as a home remedy used for fungal infections affecting the fingernail. A doctor should be consulted first before utilizing any home remedy to manage a finger infection.