One easy treatment for a nail infection is to soak the affected finger in a mixture of warm, soapy water, as Boots WebMD states. If redness extends beyond the nail area or an abscess forms, medical treatment may be necessary.
To prepare the soak, the patient should create a mixture of 50 percent liquid antibacterial soap and 50 percent warm water, as Boots WebMD instructs. He should then soak the affected finger for 15 minutes three to four times per day. The patient should make an appointment with a doctor as soon as pus collection is present, as the doctor may need to drain it. If the patient is unable to move the finger joints or if the swelling and redness extend down the finger, he should seek emergency medical care.
If an abscess has formed on the finger, the doctor may numb the affected finger before creating an incision with a scalpel or surgical knife, according to Boots WebMD. The doctor may apply a packing to promote drainage for the next 24 to 48 hours after the patient returns home, and the patient may continue using warm soaks with the doctor's permission. Part of the fingernail or the whole nail may require removal in extreme cases.