Finger Infections

Infections of the finger often require medical attention to resolve.

Finger Infections

There are several types of finger infections, and it is important to understand the differences. Fingertip infections, also known as felons, are located at the fingertip pad. A paronychia is an infection that involves the soft tissue that surrounds the fingernail. Septic tenosynovitis of the finger is an infection of the fluid-filled sheath that surrounds the tendons.  Finger infections can be very painful and persistent. Most finger infections are due to bacteria; however, fungal infections are also commonly seen. Initially these infections may be treated with oral antibiotics, antifungal medication if a fungal infection is suspected and warm soaks. If an abscess develops, it should be drained as a more definitive treatment. If the infection persists despite drainage and antibiotics, it may be necessary to surgically irrigate and debride the infected tissue. In the case of a paronychia, we remove the nail and cut the tissue just beneath the nail(eponychium) to allow complete resolution of the infection. Similarly, septic tenosynovitis often requires an incision, drainage and irrigation of the infected tendon sheath. Our hand specialists can address this issue in our office through clinical examination, imaging and drainage when needed. If the issue requires surgery, it may be done as a same-day procedure at a local hospital or surgery center.

Personalized care

As our patient, you will have an in-depth consultation with one of our doctors. We will create an individualized treatment plan together, tailored to your problem and lifestyle. Our doctors prefer non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy and/or injections. If your problem ultimately does require surgery, our doctors prefer the least invasive surgical techniques possible. Our goals are the same as yours: to get you back to living your best life, pain free. 

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