felon (Whitlow) - symptoms, causes and treatment

felon (Whitlow) – symptoms, causes and treatment

felon (Whitlow) – symptoms

A swelling on an abscess of a thumb or finger (sometimes a toe), which includes throbbing pain and extreme tenderness. It may, at first, seem to be an infection or inflammation of the skin.


The germs causing the infection are usually carried under the skin by a deep pinprick, thorn, sliver, or some other sharp object. The inflammation and pus are deep among the tendons, tendon sheaths, or even next to the bone. If the felon is not carefully, and thoroughly, lanced promptly, the tendons could slough or the bone be damaged. This would result in a permanently crippled body part.

felon (Whitlow) - symptoms, causes and treatment

felon (Whitlow) – symptoms, causes and treatment

Moreover, if the pus is not drained, there is danger that the infection may travel to the hand and more extensive crippling occur, or the infection may infect the blood, and blood poisoning will result.


• Call a physician and have the felon lanced. Deep lancing through very painful flesh must be done, so it may be necessary for the patient to be anesthetized.

• An alternate remedy, used by the old timers on the frontier is as follows: Warm some kerosene and immerse the affected part into it for at least 10-15 minutes at a time, 4-5 times a day. This will eliminate the felon.

• To relieve pain, put a piece of lemon on it. If on the end of a finger, cut a small hole in the lemon and place it over the finger. If elsewhere, bandage on a thick slice. This may solve the problem, if kerosene is not available.

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