If the swollen finger is due to a cuticle infection, the person should seek medical attention. An infection around the fingernail or toenails is known as paronychia.
Paronychia is caused by a number of different things, including picking the skin around the fingernail or other injuries occurring in the area. The infection is caused by bacteria or fungi and, according to Medline Plus, symptoms include pain around the site, swelling or pus-filled blisters. If left untreated, nail changes such as discoloration can also occur.
If any of these symptoms occur, the person should consult a doctor, as antibiotics may be required for treatment. In more severe cases, the infection site may need drained to reduce swelling. If the infection penetrates the nail area, part or all of the nail may be subjected to removal to ensure proper healing.
Even with treatment, fungal infections can take months to heal completely. To alleviate swelling, the fingers or toes can be soaked in hot water several times daily.
To prevent paranychia from occurring, users should trim their nails properly and avoid biting or chewing on the finger or the nails. The nails should also stay protected by covering them up when users are working with harsh chemicals and detergents.