Bruise on the finger
The bruise on your finger is a build-up of blood under the skin. The blood has leaked from a blood vessel and is collecting in the tissue of the finger. The blood coagulates and is gradually broken down without an open wound. Usually bruises are harmless and heal quickly.
What are the possible causes of a bruise on a finger?
The causes of the bruise are mostly mechanical in nature. Due to high pressure on the tissue and the blood vessels contained therein, these burst and blood escapes.
This can be due to blows (e.g. hammer blows) or pressure loads (entrapment).
If you take blood thinners (e.g. heparin or Marcumar), which restrict blood clotting, the bleeding and the subsequent bruise are more pronounced.
This effect also occurs in diseases such as hemophilia, which affect blood clotting.
In addition, there are people in whom the damage to vessels occurs quickly. One speaks here of the Achenbach syndrome. The exact cause of the increased risk of bleeding is still controversial. A local weakness of the vein wall is assumed.
Hormonal imbalances are also blamed. It is noticeable that more middle-aged women are affected by Achenbach syndrome. Fingers on which a ring is worn are particularly affected, which can be explained by an increase in pressure in the blood vessels.
Bruise on the finger for no reason
It can also happen that people find a bruise on their finger for no explainable reason. In this case, the Achenbach syndrome may be present, in which a limited stability of the blood vessels is probably responsible for the bleeding.
Often a bruise occurs here from carrying a shopping bag. The constant pressure on the finger causes a small vein (venole) to burst and the bruise occurs. Diseases such as haemophilia sometimes lead to spontaneous bleeding, which can also occur on the finger. Symptoms.
Symptoms of a bruise on your finger
Those affected often feel a short, sharp pain when the bleeding starts. This is due to the bursting of the vessel.
In the case of a mechanical impact, the pain must of course also be related to the violence.
Afterwards, a purple discoloration of the skin quickly forms, which can take up the entire finger or even part of the palm.
The pain usually disappears after a short time. What remains is a slight pain under pressure or pressure on the finger.
It is also characteristic that the mobility of the finger can be restricted. In particular, flexing the finger can be made more difficult due to the increased pressure in the tissue.
Read more on the topic: Bruise under the nail
What does it mean when the finger is black?
A black discolored finger is no longer a bruise. The color of the bruise usually does not reach a darker shade than a purple or blue shade.
In particular, if the black discoloration begins at the fingertip, but also generally if the finger is black, necrosis, i.e. the death of the tissue, can be assumed. This occurs through infections with bacteria or an undersupply of the tissue.
It takes some time for the finger to become really black and necrotic. The primary symptoms of an undersupply are coldness and pallor of the fingers. A doctor should be consulted urgently.
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What does it mean when my finger is numb?
In the case of a numb finger, a distinction must be made whether the finger is numb without any visible changes or whether damage was associated with the numbness.
What is certain is that the sensitive nerves in the finger no longer function properly.
In some cases, entrapment of the nerves that innervate the fingers can cause a numb finger.
Polyneuropathies (nerve disease due to diabetes mellitus) are also associated with numbness in the fingers.
Numb fingers are uncommon with a bruise. The aim was to clarify whether the nerve could be damaged by any violence. It is also possible that the bruise is pressing on the nerve, reducing the ability to feel touch.
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The diagnosis of a bruise on the finger is made quickly. What is important here is the anamnesis, i.e. the situation that led to the bruise. Depending on the situation, it must be assessed whether other examinations of the finger for bone fractures need to be carried out.
However, if it is just a bruise, feeling and looking at the finger is enough to make the diagnosis.
If there are other symptoms, such as persistent pain, fever or intense heat, you should consult a doctor.
Also read the article: Pain under the fingernail.
What should you do if you have a bruise on your finger?
No special therapy is necessary for a bruise on the finger.
Cooling the finger may help reduce symptoms, especially immediately after the vein bursts. The cold causes the blood vessels to contract and less blood escapes from the vein. In addition, it can help not to subject the finger to excessive stress and to avoid excessive movements of the finger.
Piercing the bruise on the finger is not recommended.
If only the fingernail is affected, there may be a strong feeling of pressure because the blood under the nail cannot expand. The pressure is definitely reduced by piercing.
However, this problem does not exist on the rest of the finger and the bruise is usually not a major problem. Instead, piercing the bruise with non-sterile material is a potential route of infection and always involves a certain risk. You should refrain from piercing the bruise.
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Duration of the bruise on the finger
The bruise usually lasts one to two weeks. During this time, discoloration of the bruise will be noticed.
This comes about through the breakdown of the heme in the hemoglobin, which is contained in the blood. The bruise will turn green after about three days. One speaks now of biliverdin. Biliverdin is the next level of heme breakdown. The green biliverdin is then metabolized to bilirubin after approx. 4 days and a characteristic orange color appears.
After a few days, the now orange bruise should have completely receded. The bilirubin is transported to the liver via the bloodstream and excreted in the bile. A doctor should be consulted if the finger is discolored dark over a longer period of time (longer than 2-3 weeks).
A doctor should also be consulted in the event of persistent pain without strain or numbness.
Read more on the topic: Duration of a bruise