Hand & Wrist Conditions

Hand infections

Can a hand infection be serious?

A few hand infections, such as those of the tendon sheaths, can be very serious and require emergency surgery to prevent severe complications. Evaluation and urgent treatment by a hand surgeon is important to obtain the best outcome.

Most hand infections are self-limiting and do not require surgical treatment. Other infections require antibiotics or surgical drainage and a washout to resolve.

Hands are exposed to our environment all the time. Small injuries or habits such as nail biting can cause infections to take hold and become painful, red and swollen.