HAND INFECTIONS

Most of hand and finger infections occur from injuries that are neglected or insufficiently treated. There are compartments separated with various borders in the hand and fingers. Infection agents that reach to these areas through open injuries or foreign bodies causes localized or diffuse infections. Infection agents are mostly bacteria and rarely funguses or viruses. Most of these agents are on the skin of the healthy person’s hand and injuries, hand cracks, peeling, and degeneration of the skin continuity due to getting wet help these agents to be carried inside.

Panaris (nail side infection), paronychia (nail root infection) and felon (pulpa-finger touch surface infection) are most common soft tissue infections of fingers and the hand. (Figure 1.2)

Infections seen near the nail is frequently observed in persons who always have wet hands, having a recent manicure, biting nails and those who have short nail cutting habits. Finger infections are more frequent in diabetic patients. Besides, tenosynovitis (infection seen through tendon sheath) and abscess formed in various regions of the palm are other frequent soft tissue infections. Infections called osteomyelitis which is seen in hand bones generally develop on fracture basis together with open injuries.

Approach in infections is to try to prevent the presence of germs by antibiotic use; to drain if abcessing is present and to provide local cleaning by frequent medical dressing. In some cases intravenous antibiotic use should be required by hospitalizing. If prevention is not taken and right approach is not performed on time for infections which seem to be simple, they may leave severe sequelae.

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