Swollen Finger Tip

The tips of the fingers can start swelling for medical as well as non-medical conditions. Medical conditions such as Edema where excessive fluid gets stored in the affected area, especially during pregnancy, pathological conditions of heart, kidneys etc is one of the major causes of swollen fingers or finger tips which is a sign of tissue inflammation with a fluid accumulation in the affected area. It can also occur as a result of severe infections, traumatic experiences. Change in body temperature, increase in blood pressure and other abnormal processes. Generally, fluid retention as a whole is seen to be the underlying reason especially during premenstrual period among women and in pregnancy. In a few cases arthritis is also a possible cause. The feeling of swollen finger tips is accompanied by pain, redness, and warmth. However the swollen fingers cannot be seen as a disease, instead as a sign of a larger underlying problem.

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Symptoms of swollen finger tips

  1. A sensation of tightness or pricking
  2. Swelling and redness
  3. Pus filled abscess
  4. Extreme throbbing painful state
  5. Feeling of tenderness and heat in the affected area.

The major causes of swollen finger tips could be as follows

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  • Poor circulation of blood may lead to swollen finger tips in some people.
  • Diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome may be another cause of swollen fingers.
  • For the ones suffering from arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis swelling and inflammation of the finger joints and tissues is a common problem.
  • In diseases such as lupus, a swollen finger tip might be experienced with pain and swelling not only in the finger tip but in the hands and feet as well. In fact, most of the autoimmune diseases are a cause of such problems.
  • Another autoimmune disease called Scleroderma may cause tender finger tips. Its severity can cause complete stillness of the hands and feet.
  • Edema or fluid retention may be a reason of swollen joints and finger tips. Such problems are frequently witnessed among menstruating and pregnant women who will probably have puffy and bigger fingers and enlarged finger tips and at times knuckles.
  •  Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition characterized by tautness and pain in the skin due to a bacterial infection is another cause of swollen fingers. In its most severe conditions there is discoloration with a bluish tinge with red streaking and painful drainage as other symptoms mainly due to bacterial infections. A fungal nail infection can also be a consequence.
  •  Insect bites are also known to cause swelling when the finger is stung the tip is most likely to swell. In the case of a bee sting there is more pain and swelling and redness.
  • Repetitive movement of the hands may make excessive use of the finger joints such as in sports and typing activities causing pain, redness and swelling of the fingertips.

Treatment of finger pulp infection

1.      Applying moist heat to the fingers not only held in lowering down the painful effect but also draws the accumulated pus. A piece of gauze soaked in hot water or by soaking fingers in warm water three to four time s a day can be helpful.

2.      A lot of times the doctors prescribe antibiotics to be taken at least for a week. However for general pain one can trust the usual pain killers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.

3.      Excess amount of abscess is always suggested to be drained out that helps in reducing the pain and healing as well. In medical terms it is called ‘drainage’ and ‘incision’ before which one may be given anesthesia to block the pain while staying conscious during the process.

4.      During incision or drainage, the surgeon usually makes a little cut over the affected area to remove the pus or fluid that has been accumulated. Later the affected area is covered with a casual loose dressing and in case the wound is severe, it might be covered using gauze.

5.      One has to carefully keep that area clean and go for regular dressing of the wound.

6.      In doing the daily chores one may as well get infected or hurt that could cause swelling. A lot of finger tip problems occur due to infection. That is why its important to be careful when cooking, gardening or doing other tasks that demand a lot of use of the hands and especially the fingers. Gloves could be worn for further care and protection and to keep hands clean and dry.

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