Your fingers are one of our body parts that we sometime take for granted. They are small in size compare to the other body parts such as the legs and hands and head, back or chest. However, as we all aware, we use our finger mostly for everything. Hence, if once we experience a minor pain or even major ones then we realize that apparently there are a lot of nerves’ endings around our fingertip that can cause a big problem if it is disturbed.
There are several causes that can result in swollen finger in example, tissue damage around that finger, trauma, infection, or even symptoms in other more serious disease such as diabetes mellitus or a broken finger. Pregnancy or high blood pressure can also cause your finger to be swollen. Swelling of joint or herpetic withlow is another situation that can cause a swollen finger.
In this article, we will discuss further about swollen finger that is caused by hang nail infection and how to treat it well and when to seek for further help.
What is hangnail infection?
There are still a lot of people get confuse between hangnail and in grown nail. Where in grown nail is a condition that cause the tip of your nail grows slightly into the soft skin on your nail bed, hangnail actually has nothing to do with nail, it is a situation that happens with your soft skin that is a little torn off and hanging on the side of your nail with some sort of triangular shape.
It is common case for everybody. Most of us once in a while get it because of various reasons. However, if your hangnail stays for a long time it might be a problem. An open ended skin can invite many bad bacteria and germ to make contact with it so this can further cause infection to your finger if your hangnail is not properly taken care of.
If your hangnail is infected, it is most common to be infected by bacteria that eventually will cause your hangnail to get bacterial paronychia. This type of bacteria will cause your hangnail to turn red, swollen or even filled with pus. If your hangnail is infected with bacteria, most of the symptoms will occur immediately.
Fungus can also cause your hangnail to be infected. Fungal paronychia is a situation where your hangnail is infected with fungus. The risk is higher for people who has diabetes or expose their fingers to water all the time to generate fungal paronychia. The difference between infection that is caused by bacteria and with fungus is if it caused by fungus, all the symptom will happen in a slower pace.
Even though it sounds pretty serious, if it is not too late and your hangnail is still has not gone to a severe level, you can always practice some home remedies to cure your hangnail.
Treatment for swollen finger as result of hangnail infection
If you are experiencing swollen finger in general, you have to check why it happen. If it is not because of hangnail infection or anything particular, you might try the RICE method to cure your swollen finger. This RICE is short for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Rest means after you figured out that your finger is swollen, rest the area. Ice means putting or applying some ice on your swollen finger to soothe the area. Compression means giving a bit of pressure for your swollen finger, this might be done with wrapping bandage. However, please note that if the pressure is too high, your blood circulation might be disturbed so prevent from wrapping your finger too tight. Elevate is a follow through step that you can do after practicing the above steps. Elevate means lifting the swollen finger higher than your heart to avoid any further swollen.
If after practicing the above points and your swollen finger is getting even worse, contacting your doctor might be necessary to see the reason behind your swollen finger.
For swollen finger that is caused by hangnail infection, the first thing that you have to treat is your hangnail before it gets infected further. Treating the hangnail will include softening it by soaking your hangnail in a bowl of warm water. Cutting your dry hang nail can lead to a bigger torn on our skin tissue.
After your hangnail is softened, cut it with cuticle clipper to avoid jagged edge that can lead to another hangnail cycle. After clipping the hangnail, massaging the nail bed with lotion especially the ones enriched with vitamin E is a good prevention for getting back the hangnail. Repeating these steps couple of times until your hangnail is fully healed is necessary to avoid a new hangnail to grow or be infected.
However, considering the numbers or bacteria that live around us including in the air, in the water, or even in our skin, infection is very possible to happen. If applying antibacterial ointment to your hangnail still does not help and you start noticing the area around your hangnail turning red, swollen or filled with pus you might want to try soaking your hangnail infection in warm water two or three times a day and applying some antibiotic ointment to your hangnail.
If your infected hangnail does not get better until days after, seeing your doctor is needed as you might need a prescribed antibiotic or if your hangnail infection become filled with pus, your doctor might need to drain the pus.
Considering the above, it is always good to prevent your hangnail from infection by not biting it and giving the right assessment once it occurs.