A few days ago I was cleaning a wooden table. A piece of wood got caught on my hand thru a piece of dusting cloth. I yanked the spliter out but in the process the line got caught. I pulled and pulled (with some pain) and with tweezers finally got the dusting material out....Or so I thought. The area in question is at the base of my thumb. It is quite swollen,warm to the touch and painful. I do not see any wood/splinter. However it has gotten worse and the swelling continues up to my wrist today. I tried to get in to see my Doc but with the busy schedule of summer and the kids needs I blew it off. Tonite tho, I wish I had'nt.The swelling is about double compared to the left hand. I did a little "digging" on my own and found no splinter-just pain.It's perhaps the strangest "injury" I've ever sustained. Whats your call? Thanks CyberDoc! Signed, A Handful.
Thank you for visiting the Family Practice Forum.
Well, you may have got the splinter out but I am afraid you most likely have developed an infection of the tissue surrounding the area where the splinter was. This type of infection is also known as "cellulitis".
Cellulitis is a term used to describe an infection of the skin. Cellulitis may be present in the skin on any part of the body. Certain conditions/situations predispose one to developing cellulitis. These include diabetes, eczema, burns, swelling of the extremities (edema or lymphedema), poor circulation, burns, surgery, IV drug use or occupational exposure to skin irritants. With cellulitis, there is bacteria present which is causing the underlying symptoms. The type of bacteria present differs depending on the part of the body/skin affected. Symptoms present with cellulitis include a generalized, confluent red rash which blanches with pressure, tenderness, swelling and occasionally drainage from the area involved. The area is warm and fever or chills are commonly present. The doctor may due a culture of the affected area to help determine the type of bacteria causing the cellulitis. Antibiotics are prescribed for a period of 10-14 days and in severe cases, hospitalization for IV antibiotics and surgical consultation may be necessary.
I worry a bit more about infections of the hand, in that, if tendons are involved, the damage to the tissue can be even more severe. You need to have this looked at TODAY. If you can't get into your doctor's office, go to the ER. This is most definitely something you are going to need treatment for ASAP.
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