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Swollen, Burning, & Itchy Fingers

author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
Swollen, Burning, & Itchy Fingers
Painful and injured fingers can be difficult to live with, but they are often treatable.

Swelling, burning and itching can be very painful if they are all present in your fingers, not only because of the symptoms themselves but because of how often your digits are used. Additionally, the skin on your fingers tends to be more sensitive, which can heighten your pain and discomfort. But if you are experiencing all three of these symptoms on the fingers, it is likely due to just one of several possible causes.

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Swelling, burning and itching in the hand maybe intensely uncomfortable, even causing the fingers to sweat. You may find yourself limiting the use and movement of your fingers to reduce the discomfort. The swelling will also cause the fingers to be enlarged and possibly stiff and sore.

Other Symptoms

It is likely your skin will be red and inflamed. There are also conditions in which red bumps and/or rashes can develop. In extreme cases, you may notice blistering on the skin. Dry skin is also a possibility. However, there are many cases in which there are no additional symptoms. Typically, bumps, marks and blisters indicate a more serious condition.

Possible Causes

A likely cause of swelling, burning and itching in the fingers is poison ivy, oak or sumac; if you have recently been out in nature and touching unknown plants, you may have developed an allergic reaction. This is often accompanied by a rash present on the skin. It is also possible you will have dermatitis, which is a generalized term for inflamed an irritated skin, which can have many different causes.


Dermatitis treatment can vary widely depending on its cause. In general, you should eliminate contact with the irritant causing your dermatitis. Calamine and/or burn lotions can help ease the pain, as can ibuprofen. Poison ivy, oak and sumac reactions should be treated by washing the skin with lukewarm water and soap and washing your clothes. Calamine lotions and oatmeal baths are other options that can ease discomfort.


Dermatitis should be examined by a doctor if symptoms do not quickly recede. Because the cause is hard to identify on your own, it is important that a doctor determine the cause through examination and prescribe any topical or oral medications as needed. If poison ivy, oak or sumac reaction is intense, unbearable or does not improve through at-home treatments, consult a doctor for more intensive treatment options.

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