Red Streak Going Up Towards Arm After Hand Infection
Q: I am a 39 year old female who has had several infections in the left index fingertip. Several years ago a doctor told me it’s from biting my nails. Hence I stopped biting my nails so that I would stop getting the infection. I woke up the other morning and my finger was sore. Later that day, my finger started swelling up and the same type of infection was there again. When I woke up today; it is warm to touch. I also have a red streak going up my left arm, about half way up my forearm, and it is warm to touch. I am completely baffled because I didn’t bite my finger nail. I didn’t cut or scrap or burn or have any trauma on my finger. Please help.
– By JFeezie
You need immediate medical attention. Visit your nearest doctor/ health center at the earliest!
At the moment, your finger is infected and the infection is spreading through lymph channels. So visit a doctor at the earliest. You need some antibiotic treatment. Let your doctor suggest the appropriate medication according to your profile and allergic status.
Pain (specifically, throbbing), warmth in the area and redness are all signs of infection. Infections respond well to antibiotics. If delayed, it will spread quite fast. So it will be advisable to act fast.
Why Do Such Infections Occur?
Nail biting is one of the causes. This is because our skin surface is covered with a lot of bacterial population all the time, like staphylococcus etc. Any breach in the skin lets these bacteria go into the pulp flesh and lead to infection. While biting nail, we cause minor breaches in the skin surface.
Nail biting is ruled out now in your case. However, the index finger and the thumb are still very vulnerable to minor traumas. This is so because they are used very often. Sometimes, dryness of the skin also contributes to the injuries. Keep your skin well moistened by applying any moisturizing lotion.
Later, you may consider wearing rubber gloves during activities like gardening, cleaning the home and any other activity you feel that may cause an infection.
But, at the moment it’s a medical emergency and you should go to the medical center at the earliest.