When the tip of the finger develops an infection, it can develop a pus-filled pocket or a painful abscess. This condition usually occurs after some type of puncture to the skin and may be caused by a bacterial infection, the herpes virus, or fungi.
What is Felon?
Felon is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, a strain of bacteria linked to skin infections, abscesses and cellulitis. Even small abscesses in the finger infected with this type of bacteria need to be treated quickly because if the bacteria pocket expands, it can compress blood vessels which cuts off circulation in the finger. An untreated felon can spread an infection which can lead to bone damage and other, more serious conditions.
The most common cause of felons is when the tip of the finger gets punctured. Once it develops, it causes severe pain at the fingertip and there may be thick discharge from the affected area. The fingertips can become numb as the infection spreads and it can be painful to bend the finger.
Dr. Kilaru will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the nature of the infection and check for signs of redness, cysts, and other symptoms. If the condition is recurring, the felon could be caused by the herpes virus or fungi.
Minor surgery with drainage is the typical course of treatment for felon. Dr. Kilaru will need to numb the area with anesthetic and then make small cuts in the tip of the finger to drain the pus-filled areas. Gauze placed over the finger will continue to collect any pus and bacteria. You will need to take antibiotics that fight staph infections and this can help clear up the pus. In more severe cases, Dr. Kilaru will need to make a hole in the nail to allow for drainage.
If the infection is caused by herpes, and not a bacterial infection, antiviral medication may be the best way to treat the infection.
What to Expect with Treatment for Felon
Felon is curable with timely treatment. Bacterial infection cases are fairly easy to cure with drainage and antibiotics, unless your body is resistant to antibiotics. If the condition developed because of the herpes virus or fungi, treatment can take longer.
If you are experiencing symptoms of felon, you must see Dr. Kilaru immediately for an evaluation and treatment. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Kilaru today.