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What's wrong with my sore finger?

Byline: Dr Miriam Stoppard's health focus

SYMPTOMS

Pain/swelling in the last joints in your fingers causing stiffness, you're in your 60s and have already gone through the menopause.

Painful redness and swelling down one side of your fingernails from which puss may ooze, your hands are often wet.

Swelling at the end of your fingers that resemble chicken drumsticks, short of breath, a cough, smoker.

IT COULD BE..

Heberden's nodes is a form of osteoarthritis, which affects the fingers, and possibly toes, and is a sign of menopause.

A whitlow, an infection of the nail fold, which causes pain and may become infected with thrush, lifting the nail from its bed.

Clubbing, swelling of finger ends, is characteristic of chronic lung inflammation, e.g. chronic bronchitis.

STOP IT

Painkillers help but see your GP. HN must be distinguished from rheumatoid arthritis, which affects the first joints.

See your GP or go to A&E. To eradicate the infection, the nail fold may have to be cleaned out, dressed and antibiotics taken by mouth.

See a GP for assessment. Your chronic bronchitis may have become COPD and you will need year-round medication.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 1, 2013
Words:192
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