Funky Feeling Fingertip
April 3, 2006 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Why does my fingertip feel so weird?

I spent the weekend sanding and spray painting some patio furniture. I found that after a few passes with the spray can my right hand index finger would start to swell and hurt. Switching to my left hand helped, but now I'm having issues with the left hand's index fingertip. I wouldn't say that it is totally numb but feels closest to a pins-and-needles type sensation. It doesn't necessarily hurt, but the unusual sensitivity is annoying. My friend reassured me that it would be fine but two days have passed and nothing has changed. I just started a new job and my insurance won't kick in for 90 days. Any advice on what might have caused it and when or if it will get back to normal?
posted by jessica to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
It's probably bruised or you broke a blood vessel in it. If you have some feeling, I wouldn't worry. I've done this a number of times after having to push on something... like video games. Give it however long you'd give any strained or bruised body part to recover.
posted by mikeh at 10:53 AM on April 3, 2006

I have had something similar happen, it was almost like a callous or a blister that formed on the fingertip. If you don't feel any better in a few more days, maybe try going to a doc-in-the-box to get it checked out. I can't imagine it's anything terribly serious though.
posted by catfood at 11:03 AM on April 3, 2006

same thing happened to me after spraypainting for a prolonged period. it took a while (two weeks+) but the sensation went away.
posted by joeblough at 12:14 PM on April 3, 2006

I've gotten something similar while cross-country skiing, usually when I put too much pressure on my poles. There's usually a small bruise or visible broken blood vessel that comes with it, but not always. Of course, if it's still giving you problems and you are seriously concerned about it, you should probably try and get someone to take a look at it.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:25 PM on April 3, 2006

Nerve damage. You pinched a nerve in the fingertip by pressing down hard on the spray can. I did this to myself once in one of my fingertips, via a slightly different method, and it took six months or so before sensation came back. Yours sounds like it isn't so bad, and will probably come back shortly.
posted by jellicle at 5:27 PM on April 3, 2006

I've never done this with a fingertip but a similar thing happened after overusing my wrist painting a wall. Immobilizing it in a splint at night helped it heal a lot faster. Maybe one of those drugstore finger splints will help you.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:35 PM on April 3, 2006

Best answer: I had a similar, but far more ridiculous incident involving Eggs Benedict at Angelo's. The bread was extra thick and firm that day, and by the end of the meal, there was a knife-shaped indentation on my right index finger from where I was pushing on the knife (which was extra dull that day). It took about 6 weeks before it stopped tingling completely, but for those wonderful weeks, I had a constant little reminder of the deliciousness. Now I use a different grip on my eggs benedict, and ask for a sharper knife if necessary.

Next time you might try one of these.
posted by ulotrichous at 7:03 PM on April 3, 2006

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