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Whitlow, to burst or not to burst?

(16 Posts)
Endler32 Sun 11-Jan-15 20:41:27

Have had a very painful finger all day, throbbing and burning, now I have quite a nasty looking whitlow which looks pretty grim. Is there anything I can do to reduce swelling without bursting it? Is the advice 'not to burst'?

GoogleyEyes Sun 11-Jan-15 20:44:25

I was given a paste (mag something) and antibiotics by A&E and told to come back when it was poppable. They told me not to go to the GP, as they won't lance things like that.

Endler32 Sun 11-Jan-15 20:47:04

sad I am a wimp when it comes to things like this, I am hoping it will burst in the night when I'm asleep, if not I will go and ask at my local chemist to see if I can get the cream. If anyone else other than me sticks a needle in it they are likely to get a kick.

iklboo Sun 11-Jan-15 20:51:20

Magnesium sulphate paste (mag sulph) is AMAZING stuff for this.

Endler32 Sun 11-Jan-15 20:54:32

Can I get this over the counter?

FourthMary Sun 11-Jan-15 21:00:42

Do you have a walk in centre near by? Dh had to go to a&e with his, as he left it too long and the infection started tracking up his arm, his whole hand went red and hot, with a red line up his arm. He needed strong antibiotics, so don't leave it too long.

Sorry don't mean to be all doom and gloom, but do keep a close eye on it.

Can try putting it in really hot salt water, which sometimes draws the puss closer to the surface, so you can pop it, which will relieve some of the pain.

Endler32 Sun 11-Jan-15 21:05:09

My whole hand was hurting earlier, I was in agony but soaked it in warm water and took pain killers, since then the blister has come up and the pain isn't so bad ( and is just in my finger ), if it's worse in the morning I will get it checked out, I live near a chemist so can get them to have a look to see if gp needs to see it ( don't want to waste gp time if I don't need too ). I have had a few before as I'm a nail biter but this one has been the worst.

Almostfifty Sun 11-Jan-15 21:31:54

Just ask for magnesium sulphate at the chemist, you get it over the counter. It'll do the business in a day or so.

iklboo Sun 11-Jan-15 21:38:26

Yes, Endler. Most chemists will sell it. It's great for splinters & boils that won't come to a head as well (golly I sound gross don't I?).

Mix it well first with a cocktail stick (it separates in the tub) then dab on the whitlow. Put a plaster on. Your finger might throb for a bit but don't worry. The pus will be drawn out - it's why Mag sulph paste is sometimes called 'drawing ointment'. A couple of applications should do the trick.

Endler32 Sun 11-Jan-15 21:43:43

Thank you, will get some in the morning xx

Endler32 Mon 12-Jan-15 07:57:56

It burst in the night but is still really swollen and very ugly ( yellow puss oozing out ), do I just keep it clean and let it heel or should I go to gp and get it checked?

FourthMary Mon 12-Jan-15 08:33:49

Perhaps ask at your chemist, see what they advise. Hope its not too painful.

Almostfifty Mon 12-Jan-15 11:59:56

Still put mag sulph on it, it'll draw the rest of the pus out.

RockinD Mon 12-Jan-15 12:21:08

Keep it clean, if you can get hold of some hydrogen peroxide solution, use that to bathe it regularly, it'll get down into the bacteria below the surface, dress it and it should be fine.

I tried to get mag sulph recently and was told by a major chain chemist - not Boots - that they can't get it any more.

Endler32 Mon 12-Jan-15 12:30:15

Thank you, I have soaked it in some salt water, it's weeping puss but this must be good right? I have put a dressing on it so I don't have to look at it.

MrsMot Mon 12-Jan-15 12:35:21

Flakes of soap can work just as well as mag sulph - so my gp said...
Scrape some off a bar, out on top of the whitlow and under a plaster. Draws the pus v nicely!

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