Top of the page
An infection of the pad of the finger is called a felon. The finger is made up of several small areas of tissue. Because of this, pus from an infection can build up with no place to go. Then the infection can spread deeper into the finger. Sometimes it can spread into the bone.
A finger infection can happen after a cut, a scrape, a puncture, or some other injury. Sometimes the cause isn't known.
Your finger may be painful and red. Mild finger infections may be treated with antibiotics alone. You also may soak your finger in warm water.
If the infection is deeper or there is a lot of pus, the doctor may open the area to drain the pus. This is sometimes done in an operating room.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter N937 in the search box to learn more about "Felon Infection: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 2006-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.