Whitlow. Felon. Paronychia.
This is an abscess of the fingers, of which there are three kinds, the first situated upon the surface of the skin, the second under the skin, the third within the sheath which contains the tendons of the fingers, and sometimes involving the covering of the bone.
The latter form of the disease is the most terrible, and begins with redness, swelling, and a deep seated and throbbing pain, which gradually becomes so excruciating as to banish all sleep, and nearly drive the patient to distraction. Finally matter forms and burrows in the deeper parts of the finger, and at length finds au opening, which brings relief.
Treatment. Carry the hand in a sling; apply a bandage and use poultices. A poultice made of equal parts of powdered slippery elm bark, poke root, ground flax seed and lobelia seeds, mixed with hot lye, and changed twice a day, is an admirable application.
When these methods fail to stop the progress of the abscess, the finger should be laid open with the scalpel, cutting down to the bone. This will give vent to the matter, and the wound may be dressed with poultices, until the inflammation is subdued, and the healing process is well established, when some simple salve may be applied.
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