Swollen finger

A swollen finger can result from violence, infection, or inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

It may indicate a severe infection or inflammation, one should discuss the symptoms with a doctor.

If the swelling occurs together with finger pain, redness or overheating, a doctor must be consulted immediately.
Most often, the middle and ring fingers swell, but it can also hit
the thumb . The swelling of the little finger is almost always caused by trauma.


Causes of swollen fingers

There are numerous possible causes of swollen hands and fingers. Swelling can occur as a symptom of the following diseases and disorders:

Imbalance of electrolytes in the body, usually caused by two circumstances:
profuse sweating without adequate hydration (drinking!) or a sumptuous meal that requires a larger amount of fluid for the digestive process.
Another cause may be a bacterial finger infection, such as infection of the finger flexor tendon sheaths. The bacteria responsible for the infection are called Staphylococcus aureus and Eikenella corrodens. The latter form of infection is caused by the Bacillus cereus.

The area around the fingernail can be affected by nail fungus, a fungal infection caused, for example, by Candida albicans. Typical symptoms are pain, discoloration and nail stroke.

Arthritis is considered one of the leading causes of swollen fingers. Arthritis is the medical term for inflammation of the joints. Fingers affected by arthritis are swollen and painful.

Swelling of the fingers can also be observed during pregnancy and just before menstruation, because the body stores water during this time.

Impaired kidney and liver functions can provoke swelling in different regions of the body, including fingers and hands. Swollen fingers can also occur as a result of the following diseases and problems: allergies, mosquito or other insect bites, stress, circulatory disorders, deficits of the lymphatic system, etc.

Traumatic causes of a swollen finger:

Trauma is the most common cause of a swollen finger in children and adults and can have the following effects:

  1. Finger fracture
  2. Lacerations or bruises (bruising and swelling), for example from a dog bite
  3. Ligament, tendon or cartilage tears
  4. Repeat dreams

Athletes who play ball sports (e.g. basketball and volleyball) often suffer from sprain/dislocation of the middle or ring finger, which causes swelling. If the finger is not broken, it is necessary to relocate and bandage; you can cool with ice.

Open wounds
It is quite normal for an open wound to have a slight swelling during the normal healing process; However, if the swelling lasts longer, this is a warning sign of infection and must be examined by a doctor.

Any finger can be wounded, but the index finger is most often affected due to its location. The risk of infection of a cut can be contained; for this, the wound is carefully cleaned with soap and water or a disinfectant, an antibiotic ointment is applied and the whole thing is protected with a sterile gauze bandage It should be checked regularly whether the swollen finger heals.

If the swelling does not subside or if reddening of the skin, overheating or streaks on the fingers or hand become noticeable, a doctor must be consulted immediately.

If open wounds are caused by rusty objects, animal bites or deep cuts, the risk of infection is particularly high.
After surgery, for example because of snap fingers, it can take a long time for the operated finger to swell. The healing times are usually one month.

Other causes of degenerative, infectious, inflammatory and autoimmune nature as a reason for a swollen finger:

The fingers can also swell without external force and for no apparent reason, e.g. due to:

  1. Ganglia (cyst-like protrusions on joints or tendons)
  2. Osteoarthritis (in this case, only one finger limb may swell)
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis (chronic autoimmune disease characterized by joint inflammation)
  4. Septic arthritis (infectious arthritis)

With arthritis and osteoarthritis, the symptoms are strongest in the morning when you wake up.

Swelling from an allergic reaction
When the human body comes into contact with a substance to which it is allergic, it releases histamine into the bloodstream.
The finger can suddenly swell and you feel a pulsating pain.
To relieve swelling, antihistamines can be taken.
If severe breathing problems occur as a result of the allergic reaction, a doctor must be consulted immediately.

Swelling due to obesity
Obesity causes a slowing down of the lymphatic system, resulting in edema of the hands and feet. If it is believed that the swelling is caused by excess weight, a weight loss program should be created together with a doctor or nutritionist.

Chilblains Chilblains
on the fingers are caused by cold and cause:

  1. Ache
  2. Itch
  3. Stiffness, the finger cannot be bent
  4. Burn
  5. Hard hard, sometimes bubbles
  6. Redness or white and bluish skin coloration

Symptoms that may indicate serious illness

In some cases, a swollen finger may occur along with other symptoms that may be signs of serious illness and require immediate emergency room examination. In case of the following symptoms, a doctor must be consulted immediately:

  1. High fever
  2. Inability to move your finger
  3. Very severe pain
  4. Visual impairment

One of the possible finger infections is the fingerworm, medically Panaritium. The region around the fingernail is affected. It is caused by:

  • Bacteria, e.g. Streptococcus pyogenes or Escherichia coli
  • Fungi (e.g. Candida albicans)
  • Viruses (e.g. herpes simplex)

The symptoms of a fingerworm infection are redness, swelling, severe pain, sometimes fever and pus formation.

What complications can occur with a swollen finger?

The complications that are possible in connection with a swollen finger can develop gradually and differ depending on the cause.
Since the swelling can be caused by a severe infection or other conditions, if left untreated, complications and permanent damage can occur:

  1. Permanent disability
  2. Finger amputation
  3. Deformity of the finger
  4. Inability to cope with everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, operating the PC mouse, etc.
  5. Spread of infection to other tissues
  6. Surgical intervention to repair the damage

What to do? Treatment of a swollen finger

Home remedies for swollen fingers

The following home remedies are extremely effective and bring quick help.

Finger exercises

Through the movement of the fingers, the fluid is pumped to the heart. The movement increases the blood supply to the affected region, creating a sufficiently high pressure to pump out the excess fluid.
The exercises can be quite simple, such as writing on a keyboard, bending your fingers, using your fingers to dress or preparing breakfast.
Any kind of finger movement reduces swelling; if pulling off a ring causes problems, the hand can be stretched upwards and closed several times into a fist and opened again.

If you have trouble finding time and desire for the daily exercises, a short walk of about 15 minutes can be planned once a day. Even walking for 10 to 15 minutes is a very effective way to strengthen the entire circulation.
When walking, the hands should be rocked back and forth or moved up and down.

Severely overweight people often suffer from edema because their lymphatic system works more slowly. Decongestion can occur if the lymphatic system functions correctly. A regular exercise program and a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, proteins and plenty of water to drink can help the lymphatic system maintain its full performance.

Lifting the hands and fingers
The swelling can be caused by poor circulation or blood congested in the hands. By lifting the hands, the blood can flow back to the heart.

To treat severe edema, the swollen fingers should be held above the heart for half an hour at least 3 to 4 times a day. Doctors advise positioning your hands above the heart even at night.
Lift hands and fingers for a shorter period of time to relieve minor swelling.

Ointments and compresses for swollen fingers

Turmeric and mustard oil
The turmeric or turmeric has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It kills the responsible bacteria and protects the infected finger from the attack of other microorganisms. Mix a spoonful of turmeric powder with 2 – 3 drops of mustard oil to form a paste; then apply them to the finger and leave on for about half an hour; then rinse with lukewarm water.

Tea tree oil and olive oil
Tea tree oil is known for its fungicidal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Olive oil is famous for its calming effects. An effective remedy can be made by mixing these two oils in equal proportions.
Then the mixture is heated on the flame and applied to the swollen finger. If the application takes place shortly before bedtime, the oil mixture can unfold its effect throughout the night.

An electrolyte imbalance is best treated with Epsom salt (also called Epsom salt). It contains magnesium and sulfate. The skin can absorb these elements directly; for this, the salt must be dissolved in water; Put a spoonful of Epsom salt in a glass of lukewarm water and stir.
Immerse the slightly swollen finger in the solution for about 10-15 minutes. This application should be done once a day until a significant improvement has occurred. If no Epsom salt is available, normal table salt can also be used.

Allicin is a substance contained in garlic; it supports the defense system of the human body in the fight against microorganisms. Heat 2 to 3 cloves of garlic together with a spoonful of mustard oil in a small saucepan. Allow to cool and apply the oil to your finger. Leave on for about an hour. Rapid improvement occurs if this application is carried out 4 to 5 times a day.

Crushed ice
Cold compresses relieve the pain and swelling in the finger. Crush 2 or 3 ice cubes and wrap the small pieces in a clean cloth. Beat the swollen finger into this wrap for about a minute. You can also carefully rub your finger with the ice wrap. A cold application during the day brings quick relief.

Other useful tips and hints for swollen fingers

Low-salt diet
Salt leads to excessive water and fluid retention in the body, which can also affect the fingers. If the salt in the food is reduced, the ability to store excess liquids is also restricted. If the food without salt seems too bland, you can use herbs and spices.

Mild temperatures at home and in the office
A mild temperature favors the circulation. The ambient temperature should be kept as constant as possible to relieve the swelling of the finger that can occur due to large temperature fluctuations.

Hot baths
Studies have found that a hot shower or bath favors swelling of parts of the body, including fingers. Even extreme minus temperatures can promote swelling. If the swelling of the hands is caused by a bruise, moderate cooling (such as an icepack) can help reduce swelling.

Taking medication
Diuretic drugs (diuretics) reduce fluid retention in patients with oedema and swelling. The medications prescribed by the doctor can relieve the swelling of the fingers.

Injury-related swelling
Injuries are among the most common causes. The accumulated fluids, such as blood, cause the finger to swell; it becomes warm and turns black or purple if there is a bruise.
The injury is first treated by cold applications (so that the blood vessels contract) and later with heat (it supports the secretion of fluids).
If bruising and injury persist for more than two weeks, increase in intensity and frequency of symptoms and signs of skin infection, seek medical advice immediately.

Dietary supplement
There are many other substances that have been tried and tested to cure the swelling and inflammation of the fingers. First of all, a preparation with vitamin B complex should be taken, which reduces the retention of water.
In second place, nutritional supplementation is provided with alfalfa, parsley and dandelion root; these substances can be taken as capsules, tea or extracts.
In third place is the intake of bromelain preparations; this promotes digestion and relieves allergic reactions.

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