What is the Difference Between a Paronychia and a Felon?
Discussion The hands are one of the most important parts of the body for interacting with the world. They are remarkably adapted having sensitive sensory receptors as well as feedback receptors for grasping, holding, and manipulating objects. Hands, especially with an opposable thumb, multiple joints within the hand, along with the wrist and elbow, allow the hand to move in multiple positions to manipulate the world. Hands also symbolize an emotional caring and sharing between individuals as hands are used to provide a true “human touch” in personal and social situations. Due to their important interactions in the world, the hands are at risk for damage and infection. Most infections are superficial, acute and self-limited such as a cut, scratch or easily removed splinter. Osteomyelitis, deep space infection, septic arthritis, and tenosynovitis are emergent situations that need specialized treatment. Fingertip infections are the most common hand infection. Again most of these are superficial such as a hangnail, but serious infections can occur. Paronychia is the most common. Felons are a different and less common but also important infection of the fingertip. Conditions which can look like paronychia and/or felon include herpetic whitlow, candida infection, reactive arthritis, and psoriasis in children. In adults other diseases such as cancer and gout occur. Hands are also where animal bites commonly occur. Cats cause more bites than other animals such as dogs. Be...
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