When the thick plump area of your fingertip becomes infected it is called a felon. This can happen when the fingertip is invaded by something foreign such as a splinter, a piece of glass or if you stuck yourself with something.  Blood tests by finger sticks are also culprits for causing a felon.

If you were to have a felon, your fingertip would be extremely sore and painful along with severe swelling and redness. The infection will stay in the fingertip and can sometimes cause some draining if it is not taken care of. A doctor will do a radiograph to determine how far it has gone.

There are a few different treatments that your doctor can prescribe. If you stuck your finger with something foreign, you may need a tetanus shot to get you started. They could also recommend that you soak the finger in warm water, keep it elevated and take an antibiotic. Of course there is the possibility that the doctor will have to drain your finger.

If, for some reason, your finger needs to be drained, the doctor will numb your entire finger before the procedure and make an incision. This will allow the puss to drain from your finger and release the pressure build up. The doctor may even leave some gauze in your finger to keep it open so it can drain over a few days. You will need to change this every day or so to keep it clean. You will be on antibiotics during this period.

Once the treatment is done, the doctor will splint your finger, pack it and tell you to elevate your hand for at least 24 hours. You will also need to soak the finger. If you are to injure your finger in any way, be sure to wash it thoroughly and use an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin. This can help to prevent any further infection of the finger. Proper care is necessary in order to avoid the condition getting out of control and causing further damage to your finger. Seek medical advice if you feel there is a problem.


  • christina

    I had one of these about 2 years ago it is the most painful thing i have ever had!! i have gave birth to 4 kids and all natural and it was nothing compaired to this i was begging the dr.s to just cut it off!!! thanks to Dr. English that found what it was the other dr.s just wanted to give pain meds and send me home it wasnt working. On the 4th time to the ER he came in drained it packed it and for a week and half went back every 2 days to have packing changed!! thnaks to Dr. English