Are you worried you have a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis in your finger?
This question pertains to the finger itself, rather than a bruise under the nail from bleeding.
You probably already know a little something about deep vein thromboses, particularly that they can break off, travel to the lungs and cut off airflow.
Though every DVT is a blood clot, not all blood clots are a DVT.
“Most blood clots in the fingers are caused by trauma to the area,” says J. Mark Anderson, MD, DABFM, of Executive Medicine of Texas and who is board certified in family medicine.
“This is will not lead to DVT. DVT, by definition, is a deep vein thrombosis. Deep veins, like those found in the arms or legs, are much larger than those found in the fingers and toes.
“If a clot in the finger does not go away on its own and becomes more painful, see a doctor to have it drained.
“DO NOT DRAIN YOURSELF.”
A blood clot in a finger, then, is not deep, and hence, is not a deep vein thrombosis.
It also cannot travel to the lungs.
“Blood clots in either the hand or arm can cause weakness, tingling, numbness and coldness in the hands and fingers,” says Dr. Anderson.
“It can also lead to blue coloring of the skin.”
A blood clot in the neck can significantly swell up an arm, making it seem as though the blood clot is in the arm itself somewhere. The fingers may look like sausages.
But a blood clot in just a finger will not swell anything up.
“An upper extremity DVT can form in the upper arm, but not in the finger,” says Dr. Anderson. “An extremity blood clot can put a person at risk for a pulmonary embolism.”
Dr. Anderson is coauthor of the award-winning book, “Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health,” and host of the nationally syndicated Staying Young Show which goes to podcast as Staying Young Show 2.0.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.