The most common seat of this affection is the palmar surface or ends of the fingers. The difficulty generally results from some injury. The symptoms are: throbbing pain, with tenderness, and hard swelling of the affected part. The skin upon the back side of the finger, particularly around the nail, becomes red and irritated. There are several varieties of felons, some originating in or beneath the tissues of the skin, and others in the periosteum or covering of the bone. The latter variety is the most serious, and sometimes results in destruction of the bone.

The Treatment of Felon or Whitlow

As soon as the difficulty is discovered, the hand should he given entire rest and should be carried in a sling, or held in such a position as to diminish the circulation in the limb. The diseased finger should be soaked in water as hot as can be borne. Some recommend that the finger should be soaked in hot lye. In case the latter remedy is employed, great care should be taken, as we have seen injury to the finger occasioned which was really quite as severe as that which was likely to result from the felon itself, by the injudicious employment of this measure. In some cases, cold gives the most relief; but it is necessary to immerse not only the affected finger, but the whole hand, and as large a portion of the arm as possible. If these measures do not succeed in checking the progress of the disease, the finger should be lanced as early as possible, a free incision being made to the bone. The incision should generally be made by the side of the finger, so that injury may not be done to the tendons. After lancing, a poultice should be applied