Finger "Wound" That Won't Heal

Updated on July 31, 2010
C.B. asks from Oskaloosa, KS
13 answers

hey ladies, not a kiddo question, but you always have such great advice. right now i am about to go insane from the itching feeling. i have had a cuticle that i think is infected, for several weeks now. it's been red and by turns pussy or even bleeing slightly, swollen and just nasty looking. thankfully it's just a little cuticle so it's not too intrusive. money has been tight lately, i can't go to the dr. and i know i have been stressed out and not eating well, although i take a multivitamin daily. anyway, i know i am not in top shape at the moment. i know that's part of it. but it has become downright painful, and i have kept a band-aid and either neosporin or peroxide on it at all times the past few days. a couple times it looked like it was getting better, but you'd be surprised how many times you brush or graze or downright bang your cuticle of your left hand ring finger on things! so it has just gotten worse and worse. the last few days i have kept it wrapped up pretty much 24-7, because even if i leave it open at night it oozes (watery discharge, not colored) and crusts up. SO i know this is gross and i'm sorry, but i am wondering at what point i should worry. i think it's on it's way to getting better again, and this time i am KEEPING it covered, because tonight i was cleaning it up and it itches SOOOO bad, it goes all the way down my ring finger, into my pinky, and even down into my whole hand. it's driving me nuts! i hope that is a good sign! if i continue to keep it clean and dry and wrapped, it should get better now! and please no horror stories about auto immune diseases. House-esque fungi, or flesh eating bacteria lol. it's just a little cut or scratch or something in a really bad place, that is having a hard time healing. thanks for all the comfort and advice! lol. i know it's silly....

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answers from Bismarck on

i have friends who swear by the power of vinegar--when they have sore cuticles or slight infection they soak them in the vinegar 2-3 times daily until it is better. Maybe try it over the weekend and if you keep having oozing it's time to visit a doctor. good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

i had a cut on my foot the same way.. and i was worried... i put peroxide on it 3 times a day.. and neosporin 3 times a day... kept it covered all the time.. at night.. i used diaper rash cream.. a lot. like a glob... and then covered it.. it finally started to heel.. but you have to do this for like 5 or 6 days... keep on putting more meds on it.. and it will heal

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Sounds like this is time to go to the doctor and take care of it. My mother had something like this and the doctor said it was infected-she had to take an oral medicine for the infection to stop and used a cream to help it on her finger. It took around two/three weeks to clear up and she had no other effects after it was done. She was also told to pretty much stay out of any water-so when she did need to do that she had a rubber glove on her hand and used "wipes" to clean the rest of her hand.

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answers from New York on

My child had gotten an infection from a paper cut extremely close to her cuticle. It wasn't healing and she started to say it felt "sore" when it was touched. I called the ped and he gave her an anitbiotic to take orally and an antibiotic cream for her finger about 5-7 days it was healed and fine! Get it checked out!!

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answers from Houston on

I am a podiatrist - but fingers and toes are pretty much the same, it sounds a lot like paronychia to me.
you probably do need antibiotics to get rid of it because it's usually deep seated, sometimes a yeast and a bacteria together will take hold, then you will also need an antifungal.

see if you can get an antibiotic cream and an antifungal and alternate them, you may need to lance it so the creams can get into the wound bed, use a sterile needle

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answers from Chicago on

I used to work for a hand surgeon, so I saw all kinds of injuries to the hands. It sounds like you are doing the right things as far as cleaning the wound (use mild soap and water, skip the peroxide), neosporin and keeping it covered. What concerns me is that you said you are feeling the "itching" down into another finger as well as your hand. It sounds like the infection could be spreading. Is your finger red? Is the redness spreading? That could be serious. I know you said money is tight, but if it doesn't get better in the next 3-5 days, I would definitely suggest you go to your family doctor or the walk-in clinic at Walgreens. Both would be able to prescribe you antibiotics, which I think you might need. You could also take ibuprofen for the pain. It is an anti-inflammatory that helps take the swelling and pain down. Anyway, if you have any more questions, please send me a private message. Good luck!

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answers from St. Louis on

The itching is because it is healing. I just make it through it. Don't scratch or pick at it or it will get infected again. There is a product called Betadine (sp?) that is an iodine soak solution. That is what my Podiatrist had me soak my infected toes in and it does work. I am not one to take oral antibios unless I am on my death bed because I want them to work when I am on my death bed. :p

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answers from Kansas City on

I was told by my Dr to not use peroxide on any abrasion, unless to clean it for the first time.
He said soap and water only. Peroxide damages the skin and keeps it from healing.
Use only neosporin and let it dry out. It could be being irritated by dishwashing or pealing veggies, so wear gloves while doing any chore that gets your hands wet
Good luck it should start to heal when you drop the peroxide

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answers from Wichita on

If the bandage is getting wet use a 'finger condom'. Sorry I'm not sure what else to call them. Otherwise try what the other ladies suggest, but if it doesn't get better in a week then please go to the health department or a free clinic. If your nail bed gets damaged then your finger nail will not grow as pretty as it does now. I would hate for you to get a nasty infection that spreads. I would worry if my other fingers started feeling the effects from an infected cuticle.

God bless!

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answers from Atlanta on

I agree with everyone else. Fingers are terribly germy and it sounds like you have an actual infection of a could-get-serious-if-you-don't-treat-it-now variety. Antibiotics!

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answers from Portland on

If you have even a slight fever and feel ill, based on the info that it goes down your ring finger into your pinky I think you need to see a doctor. This could now be cellulitis. If by going down you mean it's red and itchy or tingly or painful and perhaps a little warm.

This is not a horror story. It's what happened to me and I think it's important for you to consider this possiblity and if any of my description fits for you to call an advice nurse.

I say this because I had a very small sore on my toe. Then I thought I had the flu and then my inner thigh was sensitive to touch. It didn't exactly hurt but it wasn't comfortable and it felt a little warm. I called the advice nurse who said I should immediately come in to Urgent Care. Yep, it was cellulitis that had gone from my toe to my thigh. Before this was over I had several large blisters on my toe. I was on antibiotics for a couple of weeks. I was not hospitalized because the redness and sensitivity had not gone into my groin. If I had not gotten treatment before it went into my groin I would have been in serious trouble.

You may just have a yeast infection. Yeast is a fungus, I think. In which case you need to use an anti-fungal medication, such as what you can buy OTC for athletes foot.

I also suggest that you leave your finger without a bandage for several hours/day at some time so that the wound can dry up. Constant moisture prevents wounds from healing. It needs to ooze. Ooze is what helps to get the bacteria/yeast out of the body.

Have you tried using rubber gloves? Even tho it's bandaged it does get wet while you're doing housework.


answers from New York on

I do thing that you should have it checked by your MD because it sounds like you may need an antibiotic for infection. But if you are not going to call the MD; keep it clean, dry and wrapped in a bandage. You can try iodine tincture, a first aid antiseptic you can get over the counter at the pharmacy. Or, you can use bacitracin. Keep an eye on the infection, if it does not start to heel or it looks like it is spreading, please call your MD, I would hate for you to end up with a blood infection or MRSA.

ps: change the bandage daily (use gauze)
clean the wound with saline
pat dry with clean gauze
apply antiseptic or bacitracin
replace dressing not too tight
Hope you feel better

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