Dactylitis is a condition in which the fingers or toes develops inflammation looking like a sausage. For this reason, dactylitis is also known as “sausage digit”. The fingers look swelling and plump making it difficult to use them. This disorder can be a sign of other health issues in the body. Very often this symptom can be an indication of ankylosing spondylitis, sickle cell anemia and arthritis problem. Apart from being fleshy, the fingers will also cause severe pain and hence the person may not be able to use them.

Symptoms :

There will be swelling and pain in the toes or fingers of the affected person. Sometimes, the entire feet develop inflammation and the person may suffer from fever and tenderness on the affected fingers. For some people, it becomes very difficult to walk or eat or carry out routine activity using fingers or toes.

This disorder can even attack infants of 6-12 months of age. The symptoms of dactylitis can be mistaken for cellulitis. The fleshy pad of the fingers develops swelling on children making it a symptom of underlying sickle cell anemia. Small blisters may develop on the fingers making it very painful to move (blister dactylitis). Another type of dactylitis called tuberculosis dactylitis affects the bones of hands and feet and makes it difficult to treat them.

Causes :

The major cause for getting dactylitis is sickle cell anemia, sickle cell disease and psoriasis. Leprosy, Reiter’s syndrome, tuberculosis, mycobacterium tuberculosis and sarcoidosis are some of the other factors which give rise to inflammation on the fingers and toes.

For some people, the underlying health problems like psoriatic arthritis, leprosy, gonococcal arthritis, juvenile chronic arthritis and sarcoiditis can cause swelling on the toes and fingers which may lead to dactylitis.

Pictures of Dactylitis :

Images, Pictures, Pics and Photos of Dactylitis

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Treatment :

For milder form of swelling, it is enough if you drink more fluids and juices. You should take more water and plenty of liquids than the normal days, in case if you are infected. You can also take Ibuprofen and Tylenol for reducing inflammation and pain. Application of hot or cold compresses on the affected area may give some relief from pain.

In case of severe pain you need to consult your doctor who may put you on intravenous fluids for keeping you hydrated. Sometimes, the affected person needs to be hospitalized.

Depending on the nature of infection and cause, your doctor may give proper treatment. In case of blistering dactylitis, the infection is caused by streptococcus and hence your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for controlling viral infection. If the person is infected with distal dactylitis, yoru doctor would make incision for draining out the pus. He would also prescribe oral antibiotics for suppressing the pain and swelling.

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