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Infected finger for two weeks- advise me?

(34 Posts)
hairyfrogs Fri 29-Mar-19 13:48:19

Calling on the wise people of mumsnet who always know what to do.

I’m too inept to post a picture but I have had an infection by the nailbed of one finger for exactly two weeks. Initially red and swollen with not much obvious pus. One week in I pricked it with a sterilised pin and managed to get a small amount of pus out. I thought it was improving but last couple of days continues to be red and has a yellowish crust around nailbed (sorry if you are having lunch).

Work colleagues keep scaremongering and telling me I need a GP appointment. Any thoughts, experiences or words of wisdom? It is painful to touch but not if left alone.

Chocolateisfab Fri 29-Mar-19 13:49:22

I needed Penicillin for similar.

hairyfrogs Fri 29-Mar-19 13:51:46

Thanks chocolate. It’s blimming Friday and I will be lucky to get a GP appointment. I had one for last Friday and I cancelled it as I thought I could avoid it! Now I’m sorry I didn’t go.

notatwork Fri 29-Mar-19 13:53:45

When you get home wash in hot soapy water then soak in a bowl of warm water with a couple of capfuls of Dettol or savlon liquid. Get the skin really softened and waterlogged with antiseptic. Just sit for an hour or so soaking it. After 10 mins or so stroke away the crusty bit with a clean/dettolly cotton bud, then back into the liquid.
Do not squeeze: if it's been building for a fortnight it needs to come out not spread into the local blood vessels.

blitzen Fri 29-Mar-19 13:54:26

Have you tried a poltice? Think you can get some paste at the pharmacy to draw out pus. It might be called magnesium sulphate but best Google it first.

LizzieSiddal Fri 29-Mar-19 13:54:56

I too needed Antibiotics for similar.

Phone your Dr and say you need to see someone urgently and explain what’s happening and for how long it’s been going on.

blitzen Fri 29-Mar-19 13:55:32


AnnaMagnani Fri 29-Mar-19 13:55:44

GP for antibiotics. Plus notatwork's soaking. You haven't got all the pus out, it's lurking under the crust.

TheTurnOfTheScrew Fri 29-Mar-19 13:56:49

do you have a walk-in clinic or minor injuries unit?
DD1 had similar, and it was lanced, drained and dressed by the advanced nurse practitioner at our walk-in. we were advised to return for antibiotics if it didn't heal well, but it mended beautifully without.

hairyfrogs Fri 29-Mar-19 13:57:08

Thanks everyone. I should have said I have done hot water soaks and dettol. On Monday I got the magnesium paste from the pharmacist. It didn’t draw anything out and it burned like hell I think because there’s an open crack by the nailbed. Gah I will try phoning the GP after 2pm when they’re open.

hairyfrogs Fri 29-Mar-19 13:58:17

I also did salt poultices the week before. I guess I do need a plan B now.

Wingedharpy Fri 29-Mar-19 13:58:34

Assuming you're otherwise hale and hearty, keep it clean and stop sticking pins in it.
It will get better on it's own, albeit it may take a bit longer than you'd like.
Also, get some new work colleagues. The ones you have are unkind.

TakeMe2Insanity Fri 29-Mar-19 13:59:29

I ended up with a course of antibiotics then sent to hospital and seen by the hand trauma people who gave me different antibiotics, and then they removed the nail. I had lacerations in my nail bed so exposed finger looks very bumpy and odd. I highly recommend going to hospital.

doIreallyneedto Fri 29-Mar-19 14:02:11

@blitzen - Have you tried a poltice? Think you can get some paste at the pharmacy to draw out pus. It might be called magnesium sulphate but best Google it first.

Yes, it is called magnesium sulphate and it is amazing. Soak the finger in hot (as hot as is bearable) salt water first for about 5 minutes. Then put some of the paste on a gauze pad. Tape onto your finger. Repeat daily for a few days until the infection is drawn out.

There is no need for antibiotics for most infections like that. GPs will prescribe them in a lot of cases as they reckon people want to go with the easiest option but we should be avoiding antibiotics unless they are necessary.

I would suggest asking the pharmacist when buying the magnesium sulphate, just in case it is anything more sinister than a simple infection.

doIreallyneedto Fri 29-Mar-19 14:04:42

Just saw your update. Try a bread poultice instead.

My mother always used those on us when we were kids. Worked brillantly.

Auldspinster Fri 29-Mar-19 14:05:25

I had a fusty finger for two weeks, it had become cellulitis and I needed antibiotics.

AngelOfMusic4 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:05:30

Sounds like a whitlow, you can get some cream from the pharmacy but it sounds like you need antibiotics because of the crusty pus, my son has just had one and the cream didn't do anything but the antibiotics cleared it up.

minmooch Fri 29-Mar-19 14:06:03

We definitely need a photo!

hairyfrogs Fri 29-Mar-19 14:06:30

I really do want to avoid antibiotics but it’s not shifting. My work colleagues weren’t being unkind. They knew a couple of people who ended up with nasty complications.

MamaOfWobbles Fri 29-Mar-19 14:08:43

I went to boots pharmacy. They gave me a drawing paste which I had to apply and put a plaster over. After 3 days or so, the infection came to the surface and I was able to drain it out.

hairyfrogs Fri 29-Mar-19 14:09:43

One week ago

BlackeyedGruesome Fri 29-Mar-19 14:10:01

soak in hot salt water several times a day. If it is spreading up your finger then seek out of hours help.

I have had this before with toes and fingers and they have recovered, but you need to be careful and seek medical advice if you are at all worried.

hairyfrogs Fri 29-Mar-19 14:10:53


Goodenough06 Fri 29-Mar-19 14:11:44

I had an infected finger once and when I rang the GP (feeling embarrassed) they said that actually infected fingers are something they give priority appointments to. Ring the Doctor and find out xx

LizzieSiddal Fri 29-Mar-19 14:11:48

Winged It’s not unkind to suggest a work collegue sees a Dr. If you have an infection which is getting worse, you need to see a Dr.

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