Common infections of the hand.

Common infections of the hand.

The common infections that affect the human hands are explained below.
1. Paronychia:
This is the commonest of all infections of the hand. It occurs between the base of the nail and the cuticle. It is a painful condition with swelling and redness around the nail.
2. Apical infections:
These infections occur between the tip of the nail and the nail bed.
3. Pulp infections:
These occur in the fibro fatty tissue of the nail finger tips. This is an extremely painful condition. If left untreated, infection frequently leads to involvement of terminal phalanx.
4. Tendon sheath infections:
Infections within a tendon sheath leads to rapid swelling of the finger and build – up of the pressure within the tendon sheath. There is always a serious risk of tendon sloughing or disabling adhesion formation. In the case of little finger involvement, there may be retrograde spread of infection to involve the ulnar bursa in the hand. In the case of thumb, infection may also proximally spread to involve radial bursa. In either case, swelling appears in the palm and in the wrist proximal to the flexor retinaculum. It should also be noted that in 70% cases there is a connection between two bursae, allowing spread from one to the other.
5. Web space infections:
Web space infections are usually accompanied by great pain and systemic upset. There is redness and swelling in the affected web space. Infection may spread along the volar aspects of the related fingers.
6. Mid palmar and thenar infections of the hand :
These two compartments of the hand lie between the flexor tendons and the meta carpals. Infection may spread to them from web space or tendon sheath infections. Dissemination to the hand in this case is rapid and potentially crippling.
7. Tuberculosis and syphilis:
On rare occasions either of these two infections may produce spindle shaped deformity of the fingers. Spindling of a finger is much common in rheumatoid arthritis, gout or collateral ligament trauma.
8. Occupational infections:
Superficial infections are common in certain occupations which includes,
• Pilo – nidal sinus in barbers.
• Erysipeloid in fishmongers and butchers.
• Butchers warts in butchers and pathologists.
• Anthrax pustule in wool sorters and tanners.