Do you have a small abscessed area (red, inflamed and pus-filled) of your skin that’s near your fingernail? There’s a medical term for it: whitlow. The reason behind such is an infection brought about by the herpes simplex virus.

Before you start panicking, it’s important to note that whitlow is just a localized infection — it happens when the herpes simplex virus, whether type 1 (HPV-1) or type 2 (HPV-2) comes into contact with broken skin adjacent to a fingernail. When this happens, an abscess forms that is filled with pus and appears red and inflamed, plus it can be painful and itchy.

Usually, the problem goes away on its own in about 2 to 3 weeks even without any form of medical intervention. But it’s also possible for the infection to worsen, causing fever and swollen lymph nodes. When this happens, the affected individual is encouraged to seek the help of a doctor right away.

Is your whitlow evidently something that is effectively contained by your body, thus requiring no trip to a medical facility? Then continue reading. The following are some of the best home remedies for it:

Warm Water

Something as simple as soaking the affected fingertip in warm water for a few minutes can help in healing your whitlow at a much faster rate. All you have to do is get a small bowl and fill it with warm water. Pump a little amount of liquid anti-bacterial soap in it and soak the problem area in it for about 10 minutes. Do this home remedy for a few times throughout the day to attain much-needed relief from the inflammation, pain and itchiness.

Rice Flour Paste

Another highly effective home remedy for whitlow is a special paste out of rice flour and a few drops of linseed oil. It is said that this paste is very good at making the abscess erupt, causing the drainage of the pus within and considerably shortening the lifespan of the infection. At bedtime, apply the paste on the affected area and cover loosely with an adhesive bandage. Wash off the special paste carefully in the morning.

Tea Tree Oil

It’s no secret that tea tree oil is a highly-effective virus killer, and this is why it can be used for dealing with whitlow. All you have to do is place a drop of tea tree oil on the trouble spot and leave it there. Do not rinse off with water to give tea tree oil enough time to carry out its job. It is said that you may perform this super simple home remedy for whitlow 7 to 10 times on a daily basis until results are noticed.

Lemon

Grab a small-sized lemon and cut it in half, and then stash one half in the fridge for later use. Now insert your affected finger into the flesh of the other half. Let it stay there for about 10 to 15 minutes. Vitamin C found abundantly in lemon can help keep the inflammation from worsening, thus accelerating the healing process of that whitlow. Later during the day, use the other half of the lemon in repeating this home remedy.

Immune-Boosters

Speaking of vitamin C, make sure that you include plenty of foods in your diet that are loaded with the said nutrient, which is an obvious immune system-strengthener. Since whitlow is a form of infection, you can benefit tremendously from a bolstered immune system. See to it that your daily diet consists of vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus and tropical fruits, red bell peppers and dark leafy vegetables.

Consult your doctor if your whitlow seems to be very painful or is clearly worsening so that you may be given appropriate treatment for it.

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