It is very important that you get treatment for infections in the hand as soon as possible. Because, if they are left untreated, then they can cause serious problems, including loss of use in the hand, stiffness, loss of tissue, loss of nerves, and even loss of fingers. If infections are caught early enough, then soaking, rest, and antibiotics will resolve the issue very quickly. However, it only takes a day or two for an infection to become a serious issue. Often, when not treated in time, a hand infection will require drainage, removal of tissues, and other surgical procedures. Lets discuss the types of hand infections so that you will know what they are and how they appear.
This is a type of infection that appears around the fingernail in the cuticle. It is often caused when bacteria gets under the skin and becomes trapped. Symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, and pus. If caught early, then the infection will be treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, the infected area needs to be lanced to remove pus. This type of infection occurs often in people who must keep their hands wet for an extended period of time because exposure to moisture can weaken the tissue and introduce fungus to the area.
This very painful infection occurs in fatty tissues, such as in the fingertip. It can be so painful that it throbs and will require drainage of the pus along with antibiotics. If it is diagnosed and treated early enough, it can cause damage to the bone and muscle.
If a person has the herpes virus, then it can show up as an infection in the hand. It often also occurs in healthcare workers who are exposed to saliva from herpetic patients. Symptoms include small blisters that are swollen and angry red. It usually takes a few weeks to fully resolve.
Arthritic joints can lead to infections near the area, especially if bacteria is introduced. Usually, the only way to resolve his infection is through surgical drainage. If the infection is not treated in a timely manner, then the infection can spread to the bone.
Deep Space Infection
Throughout your hand, there is space between different types of tissue. A puncture wound can cause an infection in these spaces. They often occur on the thumb, in the palm of the hand, and at the base of the fingers. They can spread to the rest of your body, so it is important that they get treated.
Tendon Sheath Infection
This infection occurs in the sheath that protects the tendons in your hand. They can cause destruction to the tendon if they are not treated properly. The only treatment is surgical removal of infection.
Bite Wound Infections
If a patient is bitten by another human or animal, they are at serious risk of infection because mouths contain a plethora of bacteria. If you are ever bitten, it is vital that you visit a doctor as soon as possible so that infection can be avoided.
Atypical Mycobacterial Infection
This is another infection of the tendon sheath that will develop slowly and causes swelling, stiffness, and pain. It will have to be treated with antibiotics over the course of several months and sometimes, the tendon lining must be removed to control the infection. It usually develops from puncture wounds or abrasions that are exposed to stagnant water.
Infections of the hand should not be ignored, and if you have signs of an infection, contact your doctor as soon as possible.