ZocdocAnswersHow do you cure a swelled index finger?

Question

How do you cure a swelled index finger?

Can you use a ice pack, or a heat pack to get the swelling rid of?

Answer

The treatment for a swollen index finger depends on what is causing it to be swollen, so it is important to speak with your doctor. In general, swelling is a sign of inflammation, which occurs typically because of injury or infection. If you injured your finger the swelling will go down as the injury heals; if you have any difficulty moving the finger or any tenderness to touch over the bone it is important to see the doctor to make sure you don't have a broken bone or a dislocation. If you sprained or jammed the finger, ice, rest, and NSAIDs (ibuprofen, advil or motrin) can help with the pain or swelling. If you didn't injure the finger, the swelling could be a sign of infection (you might have an infected cut, or a hang-nail that got infected). The best way to treat the swelling in this case is to treat the underlying infection, and I would definitely recommend seeing the doctor to help diagnose the infection. If you are having fevers, shaking chills, or redness tracking up the finger I would see the doctor as soon as possible. Finally, there are other causes of swollen fingers, which can include arthritis or a joint problem in addition to other skin conditions - for all of these, ice can help with the swelling but the most important thing to do is to see a doctor to figure out why your finger is swollen and to treat that.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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