A swollen finger is usually the result of an injury, an inflammation, a localized infection when it affects one or more fingers.
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When all fingers on both hands are affected, a more general illness may be suspected. Explanations with Dr. Romain Chassat, hand surgeon.
Symptoms: swollen, red, blue, white, painful fingers
“Constantly in demand in hand movements, fingers are fragile and exposed areas,” says hand surgeon Dr. Chassat. These articulated extremities can therefore be affected by various symptoms with different causes. The fingers can be..:
Pain due to bone, muscle or nerve pathologies (shock, fractures, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis…)
Swelling in case of infection, insect or plant bites (rose, hawthorn), allergies or medication (antihypertensive).
Of an unusual color: the presence of a red and swollen finger should suggest an inflammation (panaris, abscess, sting…)
With bruises from shock or trauma…
“Osteoporosis, on the other hand, is a pathology that reflects the demineralization of the bone that can lead to a fracture, so it does not cause any pain.
What are the possible causes?
A swollen finger can be a sign of an acute pathology: the consequence of an injury, an inflammation, a localized infection when it affects one or more fingers.
This swelling can be secondary to a point aggression such as a fracture, bite or sting, trauma with a fracture or sprain, injury, dislocation, allergy or heat.
Sign of a disease?
When all fingers on both hands are affected, a more general condition, such as chronic inflammatory disease, may be suspected.
“Digital Osteoarthritis in adults under 50 years of age is often familial in origin.
Digital hypocrisy is a deformation of the fingertips that can appear swollen, a symptom that occurs in certain conditions such as chronic respiratory failure. Chronic joint pathologies can also cause swelling of the fingers such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout or chronic joint pathology.
“Digital osteoarthritis in adults under 50 years of age is usually of family origin,” says the specialist. It results in multiple digital deformities that usually affect the last joint of the finger. The pain appears in few days and it can affect several fingers. These mechanical pains are worse during the day when the fingers are used.
Gout is a chronic inflammatory pathology that manifests itself in inflammatory outbreaks with night pain. The finger is hot, red imitating an infection.
“Raynaud’s disease is a vascular disease that produces cold and white fingers when exposed to the cold,” the surgeon adds. Exposure to cold should be avoided even if the fingers quickly become warm again. Glove protection is the rule for limiting symptoms“.
What can I do to make it deflate?
Treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Cold therapy is recommended for patients suffering from hand inflammation. Ice packs, a plastic bag filled with crushed ice, or a bag of frozen vegetables can be applied to the painful area.
Green clay poultice (with antibacterial, curative and anti-inflammatory properties) or antiseptic baths can provide relief from a panaris.
“Cortisone is a treatment for edema that is free of infection. It can increase infections, our interviewee concludes. However, a consultation with a specialist is recommended if symptoms persist or worsen.
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