Health Tips for Seniors

Palm-Hand and Nail infections

Palm-Hand Infection. Infections deep within the palm, or under the thumb are very serious. They are usually started by perforating injuries from needles, pins and other sharp objects. About a day after the perforating injury, the palm becomes thickened, hot and painful and red streaks are often seen ascending the arm as a danger signal that infection is spreading.

These deep palm infections can be extremely serious and should be treated without delay. The physician might start antibiotic therapy, hot, wet dressings, or might recommend an immediate incision and drainage of the infection.
Finger and Nail Infection. Infection around the nail border, called a paronychia, often develops from a hangnail or small cut on the finger tip. It might present a boil-like appearance along one side of the nail, or occasionally spread around the entire nail, and undermine it with pus.

Prevention of nail infections means reasonable hand protection,

Fig. 151. Finger infections about the nail, or deep in the finger portion, may ascend into the hand and arm. They should always be attended early to afford relief from pain as well as spread of infection.

prevention of digging or pulling at hangnails and the intelligent cleaning and covering of small, unimportant cuts on the fingers. Once a paronychia is started, the physician usually recommends warm water soaking, and avoidance of all possible trauma to the infected site. With the appearance of a boil-like head, with obvious pus underneath, a sterile incision and drainage is in order, but the possibility of a spreading infection in this region demands that no one but the physician perform this operation. The pain, almost always present, is usually bad enough to encourage the patient to visit the physician.

Infection in the pad of the finger tips, looking like a deep-seated boil is caused by pin sticks and other perforating injuries about the ends of the fingers. They are called felons and are excruciatingly painful, very disabling, and serious.

Treatment of a felon infection demands surgical incision and drainage of the pus from its enclosed casing within the fingertip. They occasionally respond to the physician’s conservative treatment of antibiotics and warm water soaking, but neglect of such an infection, or crude attempts at home operation, often result in serious life long damage to the finger or entire hand.

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