How To Heal An Infected Finger At Home!

I’m glad I can share this remedy with you, but I am certainly NOT glad that we had to go through the experience to get the learning!

My youngest is two years old and as cute as any little girl can get!  I hate to see any of my children in pain and she definitely experienced a good bit of it this week with an infected finger.

With some garlic, some salt or epsom salt, herbs and neosporin we are looking at the end of this ordeal!  We aren’t completely done with it yet but she is much better.  I was so happy with the results that we saw as we treated her at home, that I wanted to share what we learned in the hope of helping someone else.

Background Story

Friday last week, I was helping my daughter into the van.  She put her hands on the floor of the van, only to retract her hands back and say Ouch!  She showed me her index finger and I didn’t see any sign of injury whatsoever.  No blood, no scratch, nothing that would indicate a problem.  I assumed she bumped it or touched something a little sharp.  The rest of the weekend, she was fine and so was the finger.

Fast forward to Tuesday of this week.  She woke up acting pretty tired and just wanted to lie around.  That is certainly not like her, but I let her rest because we had two late nights in a row.  After she had slept a while, I went to check on her and it seemed she had a fever.  I figured she was getting sick and that explained the tiredness.  A little while later, I noticed the swelling in the finger she had showed me over the weekend.  It was very red and completely swollen with some discoloration under the finger nail.  The swelling was worse at the finger tip and got a bit smaller and less red as I looked down her finger.

I didn’t initially connect the fever and lethargy with the swollen finger, but once I did, I was very scared.  I was afraid that the infection would move to her blood or that she would get much much sicker.  A few treatments came to mind right away and so the battle began.

I really wish I could have gotten better photos of it to help you treat your own case, but I’ll display what I was able to get.

Treatment Strategy

I can call it a strategy now that I know what to do – at the time, I was just pulling every remedy I could find and using it as frantically as possible.

The very first thing I did was to give her a garlic enema.  I have used this tactic many times over the years for fevers in my children and have never been let down by its results.  Within a few moments of finishing up the enema, her fever was down a little more than a degree.

Right after the enema, I brought her out to the couch and put a baking soda paste on the finger.  Just mix up some water and baking soda to make a thick paste.  I coated her whole finger tip and half way down her finger because I really wasn’t sure what was causing the infection or where the original injury occurred.  It dried pretty quickly and I left it on while she slept some more, approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

(Side Note:  My husband has had several spider bites from a Brown Recluse Spider.  These very dangerous and potentially deadly bites can be treated with a baking soda paste as well.  Coat the area well and let it sit for a while.  If it is working, you’ll usually see some bubbling happen where the venom is being drawn out.  After you rinse the paste off, put Neosporin on it with a bandaid in between baking soda treatments.  He usually does two or three baking soda treatments throughout the day and keeps it covered with Neosporin until healing is evident.)

There was no bubbling at any place on her finger with the baking soda on, so I assumed it wasn’t a bite we were dealing with.  I’m still not sure exactly what happened to her finger, but at that point there was no open wound where the baking soda could have drawn out any venom.

Then, I soaked her finger in warm water with salt dissolved in it.  Afterward, I coated it with Neosporin and put a bandaid over it.  I was pretty worried about her, so I had her sleep in the bedroom by us.

In the morning, I gave her another garlic enema.  The fever wasn’t as bad as the day before, but I figured the antibiotic action of the garlic was exactly what her body needed.  The fever came down even more, thankfully!

I brought out all my dried herbs and put together a few to make a poultice.  I included a large pinch of the following:  comfrey, plantain, lobelia, red clover, and slippery elm.  After mixing them well, I poured some boiling water over the mix – just enough to make a thick paste.

Before applying the herbal poultice, I soaked her finger in more warm salt water.  Once the herbs were cooled off but still warm, I put a round layer of the herbs on a gauze first aid bandage – it was about as large as a silver dollar.  I really wanted this to cover up her whole finger.  I wrapped up the gauze with an ace bandage because I was out of medical tape.  I left her thumb out and wrapped it around ehr hand, fingers and wrist – not tight.  She fell asleep immediately since she still had somewhat of an elevated temperature.

I have to say, I think the herbal poultice was the biggest victory we had in this whole battle with the garlic enema coming as a close second!  After I pulled that poultice off (it had been on about an hour or so) I could finally see some of the infected puss at the surface.  Until this point, there didn’t seem to be any visual change in the finger at all.  Now, I finally felt like what I was doing what making some kind of difference for her.

The next dilemma was to figure out how to drain the area.  There were no holes or scratches that my husband or I could see and the infection was not finding a place to drain out on it’s own.  We soaked it warm water with espom salts and tried to figure out the best way to get that puss out of her finger.  We really did not want to hurt her any further if it wasn’t necessary.  As we mulled over what to do, the finger actually started draining by itself!  I was so relieved!  My husband did actually squeeze it a little bit as gently as he could in order to get more out.  We did another soak and covered it with Neosporin and a bandaid for a while.

By mid-day that second day, her fever was all the way gone, even though I hadn’t given her any more garlic enemas.  The enemas are much harder to do on a child that is feeling better and has more energy.  I wish I would have done a few more, but she seemed to be on the mend.

Before her bedtime, I soaked the finger again in espom salt water and then covered it with the herbal poultice mixture.  I was hoping to have it on over night, but when I woke up the next morning I noticed that she had already taken it off during the night.

On day three, things were definitely improving!  No more fever at all.  We were able to get the finger to drain again, and this time the fluid was a little cloudy at the beginning and then was a clear fluid.  No more infection!  The finger was still red and swollen, but not nearly what it had been two days earlier.  After two nights of sleeping in the bedroom with us, I was finally ready to let her sleep in her own bed that night!

I kept soaking the finger with warm epsom salt water and the covering it with Neosporin and a bandaid from here on out.  This lasted another four days.

Then, on Tuesday, exactly a week after all this started, her fingernail showed signs of being ready to fall off.  It seemed like it was just hanging by the cuticle.  We put some more Neosporin on it with a bandaid so that she wouldn’t catch it on anything while playing.  I am hoping that, if the nail does fall off, we’ll be able to get a better look at what happened under there.  We’re all too familiar with what a spider bite looks like so I’m sort of suspecting to see that – but we’ll see!  I plan to use the herbal poultice one or two more times to help the area heal more quickly.

Treatment Overview

Garlic Enema – three times a day for fever and to get antibiotics into the system

Herbal Poultice – three times a day for drawing out infection and healing the wound

Epsom Salt Soak – several times a day

Neosporin – any time you are not otherwise treating the infection, cover it with Neosporin and a bandaid

I sincerely hope this helps you treat an infection and fever very quickly and with great results like we had!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melinda August 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Wow! I’m glad your daughter is okay! I’ve never used the herbal poultice – but I’m bookmarking this in case! I always do the Epsom salt soak and then use Castor oil on a cotton ball covered by a band-aid. I sure hope she doesn’t lose her fingernail!

2 Marcus June 2, 2011 at 12:08 am

Interesting… all these natural remedies, yet you’ve used an antibiotic (Neosporin) as well. The garlic enema is most intriguing…

3 ryan September 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm

my finger is infected and i am a teenager and i just all of a suden got a swolen redness in my finger and i asked my parents what is it and they told me it was infected and i asked them what can i do to cure it and the said they really dont have a single clue, so i got on the internet and found your post and im so glad you tell how to heal it and im gonna follow all of your steps to heal my finger, and yes it does hurt and i am glad that your daughter is ok, and hopefully i will be too. and once again thanks!

4 bernie doherty September 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

my son has been suffering with a infected fingernail for two day now , so am going to try this and plz god it works for his sake,because its a very sore thing. Tanks alot ;Bernie xx

5 madison August 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm

well mine is like swollen all around and i picked at the cuticle soo tht is why it is swollen and red and it is like a little black under the nail so my school nurse said to soak in warm or hot salt water then put neosprion on it……..does it acutally work or no

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