Whitlow, Or Felon (Faronychia), an abscess occurring on the fingers, attended with great pain and inflammation, commencing in, if not confined to, the terminal joint. The cutaneous or superficial whitlow consists of an inflammation of the skin of the last phalanx, with burning pain and effusion of a serous or bloody fluid, raising the cuticle into a blister; when it is under the skin, and especially when about the nails, there is great pain and throbbing until the pus, which is almost sure to form, is let out, attended often with loss of the nails. In the tendinous form or thecal abscess, where the inflammation is within the sheaths of the tendons, the pain is much more severe, and the pus, from inability to escape through the fibrous tissues, burrows upward along the sheaths into the palm of the hand, and even to the forearm and arm, producing severe constitutional symptoms and irritative fever, sometimes requiring amputation to save life. The treatment consists in the continued application of poultices in the early stages of the affection, with opiates if necessary, and, above all, deep and free incisions as soon as there is reason to believe that the formation of pus is taking place.
In the severer forms, the finger is often rendered permanently-stiff, owing to adhesions between its tendon and the neighboring parts.