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Finger injury, clear discharge from fingernail, rotten chicken smell. Infection?

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Posted on Wed, 19 Sep 2012
Question: Grown son smashed right Ring finger a week ago. Cut on tip of finger and nail was black and blue. Been soaking it in 50/50 solution of peroxide and water a couple of times a day. Clear, non-smelling discharge from under the fingernail a couple of times, but last night the discharge though still clear had a rotten chicken smell. Infection? Not red, no fever, not particularly sore.
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Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko (2 hours later)
Hello!

Thank you for the query.

Every wound (except surgery caused wound) we can treat as infected. Depending of how large is a wound and if there are any immune deficiency diseases (like diabetes for example) we can give an antibiotic or not. Most healthy people with small wounds (like your sons) will heal without any medical attention as healthy immune system will easily get rid of infection. But sometimes infection may be caused by some atypical bacterias and immune system may have troubles with it.

So if the wound was caused by some dirty object, it is advisable to take an antibiotics. Moreover, in some cases tetanus vaccination is necessary.
If it`s about your sons wound, it is very hard to tell not seeing it. But smelly discharge from under the fingernail may be a sign of anaerobic bacterias infection especially, that under the fingernail there is a great environment for such bacterias.
However infections under the fingernail are mostly very painful.
The best way to find is to show it to the doctor as after a week such wound should be almost healed.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5769 Questions

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Finger injury, clear discharge from fingernail, rotten chicken smell. Infection?

Hello!

Thank you for the query.

Every wound (except surgery caused wound) we can treat as infected. Depending of how large is a wound and if there are any immune deficiency diseases (like diabetes for example) we can give an antibiotic or not. Most healthy people with small wounds (like your sons) will heal without any medical attention as healthy immune system will easily get rid of infection. But sometimes infection may be caused by some atypical bacterias and immune system may have troubles with it.

So if the wound was caused by some dirty object, it is advisable to take an antibiotics. Moreover, in some cases tetanus vaccination is necessary.
If it`s about your sons wound, it is very hard to tell not seeing it. But smelly discharge from under the fingernail may be a sign of anaerobic bacterias infection especially, that under the fingernail there is a great environment for such bacterias.
However infections under the fingernail are mostly very painful.
The best way to find is to show it to the doctor as after a week such wound should be almost healed.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Regards