has anyone had problems with finger ulcers?

hi i am new here. i was wondering if anyone has had problems with finger 'ulcers' or infections in their fingers? my doctor does'nt want to take these infections seriously and they are causing my fingers to become so swollen and tight with infection that it feels like it's going to explode. my doctor when told just seems to want to brush it off. any suggestions?

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You need a new doctor. Read up on these ulcers. They are serious. I've been dealing with them for years. I thought they were splinters. If left untreated (most extreme cases) you could end up with tissue death, gangrene and amputation. They are extremely painful. Please be careful, Take them seriously. There's a lot of information to be found on the internet. Start getting some blood tests done to confirm your diagnosis etc., Don't wait, like I did. Take care of your self

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Hello redswrld2u,
Please if this doctor is not taking you seriously insist on being sent to a hand specialist or change doctors quickly. I to had the same problem and had to practically fight with my doctor to send me to a specialist. Needless to say I don't see this doctor anymore.

Take care
67stang

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Please change doctors. I have very painful ulcers on my fingers and had to have the tip of my index finger amputated 2 years ago. My doctor tells me if I see ANY sign of an ulcer or infection to call him ASAP. I had an infection in another finger last year and he started my on a IV anitbiotics everyday for six weeks and it saved my finger. PLEASE don't wait.

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I agree with everyone else. Ulcers need to be taken very seriously and infection MUST be addressed immediatley or there can be dire consequences including amputation if left untreated. Sometimes even with the best treatment, these infections take on a life of their own resulting in great pain and discomfort. If your doctor is not taking this seriously, you need to seek out a new doctor ASAP.

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I agree ulcers are serious I almost had the tip of my left index finger amputated. I am now using an arterial flow machine , I attach cuffs (like a blood pressure cuff) to both forearm and turn it on it pumps air into the cuff every twenty seconds and tightens it is helping blood flow and circulation to my fingers, I try to use it at least 4 hours a day when the ulcers are bad.

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wow. i knew that infections were bad and these ulcers were very painful and full of infection. i have a doctors appointment tomorrow and i was gonna have a fit if he tried to brush it off again. i made up my mind that i was going to lance my finger and when yellow poisons started flowing i would say "SEE" i had no idea that there was so many of us out there going through the same thing. thank you all for your very educational replys. it opens a new door for me to get assertive. I am from Bakersfield, california. i don't suppose anyone has a doctor/doctors they could recomend to me so that i can get a referal. i have been looking on the internet and can't find one that specializes in this disease, i am willing to travel, within california.. any recommendations at all will be very helpful.. thanks again and God Bless all of you.

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Find a different Dr. He should know better. Also, I almost lost a toe at one time and had great results at a wound care clinic. If you have one in your area I wouldn't hesitate going there.

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Everyone is correct ! Find a different doctor ...ulcers on our fingers can change over night ..I had surgery on my thumb last summer because it became abssessed ...I'm lucky I didn't lose it !

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I have had trouble too with one finger and it seems like that is the only one I ever get nicks on and the only one that takes forever to heal. I have two paper cuts on the tip of that finger that have never healed. I insisted on tests and that was how it was discovered I had scleroderma (I already knew Reynauds). The skin has never grown properly it is soft and if I bang my finger it hurts...I don't have as much trouble with it when the weather is warmer but anything below 65 and it hurts. I am hoping the AP protocol helps with this.

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Everyone is correct. Please find another doctor. I have ulcers on almost all of my fingers, they have healed but they are sore.
I have a wonderful rheumatologist who always examine my finger when i go to see him. God Bless!!

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Hello... I have dealt with finger ulcers for many years and if not treated they will get worse. My doctors have found that Nitroglycerin cream works best for mine. Depending on where they are on the finger, you would take a bandaid and place a small amount of the nitroglycerin cream under it, placing the bandaid and the lowest part of your finger, cream underneath. You do need a prescription for the cream. It is normally used for heart patients but doctors have found it helps increase blood flow at a more rapid rate, thus healing the ulcer much quicker because of the blood flow. Please let me know if I can help at all or if you need advice on finding a doctor. Keep faith and God Bless!

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thanks noe718. i will try that. and yes i have been trying to find a doctor that specializes in this disease i have not had any luck tho, i would appreciate any help you can give me in this area. i live in california i am on medical and medicare. thanks again and God Bless. This is a wonderful web site i am so glad i found it =)

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I've been using manuka honey on my ulcers. They haven't gone away but they haven't gotten worse.
The rheumy gave me bactroban cream, but it burned like hell.

I went to a new primary doctor and I said I have digital ulcers. He said "uh, huh," and then proceeded to not care. I did discuss other problems, so maybe he was concentrating on those.

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Please, please find another doctor. Most health professionals I've been involved with were VERY sensitive to the pain I was/am still experiencing because of ulcers. My pain manager is absolutely the most understanding. I finally, after almost 3 yrs, don't have ulcers anymore, but the "remains" of my fingers are so painful that it is almost unbearable at times. I live in Houston and go to the great Sclero doc here, and I was given the news about a year ago that I should go ahead and see a surgeon for amputation. I just couldn't do it. After suffering so long, taking so many meds, seeing so many docs, and just going through the pain and long fight to get my fingers well, I just couldn't make myself go through the surgery. My greatest fear was that if the amputatuon didn't heal, they would have to go back and take more, and maybe even my hands. But the pain is so awful. Three of my fingers are extremely disfigured and even though the ulcers are gone, what is left of the tips is not enough to protect the bone at the end of my fingers (as I was told). So when I just slightly hit them, on the kitchen countertop for example, it just sends me into orbit with pain. My doc said it is because I lost so much tissue. Eight of my fingers are so numb (nerve damage?) that I can hardly pick up anything. I can't find anything when I dig through my purse because I can't identify anything just by the touch. One of my pinky fingers was X-rayed last week and the bone doesn't even look like a finger bone - it is pointed like an ice pick and a fragment of the bone has broken off and is floating around. I already knew that part before the x-ray because I can hear a clicking sound when I try to bend the finger. I can't imagine what it would be like to have just moderate pain in my hands/fingers. If I knew for sure that the surgery would stop all the pain, I would immediately have it. I am just so fearful that I'll be no better off after it. That pinky finger has stayed infected for over a year with pus coming out constantly. I have taken major antibiotics, but it only stops the infection for about a month. When I was in the hospital last year taking chemo, the nurses called in an infectious disease doc because of the way my finger looked. He put me on two strong antibiotics IV for 4 days. Then I went home with two RX scripts for three weeks. The infection returned within 1 1/2 months.
Friends, this post is not meant to freighten anyone, but please go to as many docs as you have to if you have or even suspect that you have digital ulcers. If your doctor doesn't help you with the pain, see a pain manager. I use the Voltaren ointment, take Norco and wear a pain patch daily (100mg Fentanyl.) I also take Ibuprofen if I need additional relief. For more than a year I took Morphine, but refused to take it anymore last spring because of the side effects. A regular doctor, including my Sclero doc, will not prescribe the patch. They all require that be prescribed by a Pain Mgr.

I would love to hear from some of you that have gone through digital amputation. Pain level, recovery time, disfigurement, etc. I'd really appreciate your thoughts and experiences. I'm not so vain that I worry about how it will look, but I am so worried that I won't be able to use my fingers at all. I took piano lessons for 12 years as a kid and still played all the time until the ulcers, was an avid knitter before this, was an arts & krafts wizzard, and typed about 100+ wpm and now I peck with the 4 fingers that still work. Losing my fingers is almost more than I can bear to think about. Help please. God bless you.

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I am glad I could help...Also, I am so happy you found this site too!! As to finding you a doctor in California I will start my search..I have always lived on the east coast but I recently was in touch with the director of the Scleroderma Research foundation which is based out of California. I will do my best getting in touch with her to see what kind of rheumatologists we can find in your area. Keep faith and God Bless!

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I agree with you all about finger ulcers. They are awful. A great California Dr. is at UCLA Med Center in Los Angeles. He is one of the world's foremost scleroderma Drs. and longtime patients will recognize his name. He travels the world and often speaks at National events. If he can't see you, his office will recommend one of his colleagues. I did two clinical trials with him in Seattle and he was wonderful! Start there!! Kathy in Idaho His name is Dr. Daniel Furst.
Google him for more info.

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My question is how do these ulcers look when they start out. I have a spot on my left index finger that I thought was calcinosis. Ever since I had surgery on my watermelon stomach; I have not been able to take the meds I did for the raynauds. My finger became hot and inflamed and very sensitive to the touch. The swelling has gone down and is not as painful as it was. It is still sensitive. Is this a possible finger ulcer?
Thanks
Joanne

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Referring to the manuka honey that purplelibrarian mentioned in her post, I have used this in my tea and drizzled it on toast. For those of you who have not heard about the honey, look into it. It is a medicinal honey that has specific antibacterial qualities that have been used to treat MRSA which is highly infectious. Some people use it directly on sores with good results, but there is a manuka oil which is great on cuts. The honey is good for sore throats and lots more, please google. It is expensive, I buy a jar at local health store for $20, you can shop on line, be sure to look for organic. worth a try!
Nima

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Nima, I didn't know about the manuka oil. Once my honey runs out, I'll give it a try.

I eat the honey when my acid reflux wakes me up at night. It seems to soothe it during the night.

My sores are on my knuckles, not the tips. If I hit them, OUCH!
They have a white center and it is red around them.
I hope they don't get worse.

I diagnosed myself by looking at scleroderma websites.

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I just saw Dr. Oz's show this week on Manuka oil and found the honey info when I googled it. I'm going to see about finding some this weekend.

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