I have a character in a late medieval-esque English setting (18-year-old aristocratic male, somewhat malnourished due to travel/a recent experience with captivity) who has a particularly nasty self-inflicted wound in the palm of one of his hands. The wound was created with, I suspect, some small object, and has been deliberately picked at and added to until it is of substantial size and depth.
Firstly, would there be any conceivable way (short of knives) of contributing to this wound? He's deliberately aggravating it, refusing to let it heal for personal reasons. For a female version of this idea, set closer to the Victorian era, I know there would be the opportunity of injuring the area further with pins, but that seems both too feminine for him and fairly anachronistic.
Secondly, if the wound had been kept covered by gloves habitually for a long time, am I correct in assuming this would make it worse or encourage infection? (My only experience with the idea of gloves + festering hand injuries would be Terry Pratchett-related, and so not particularly useful, however neat.)
EDIT: I'm willing to modify this to allow it to be on the back of the hand rather than in the palm, at least in part because he's not that unbalanced. He has no particular desire to keep the hand, or indeed survive the injury. However he will obtain medical treatment at some point, like it or not. He isn't consciously self-harming in the modern sense, but the lack of knives is an effort to reduce possible damage as a good-intentioned but not particularly well thought out action from his current protector, my main character. Said main character has some firsthand knowledge of basic medicine out of experience, but now I'm more informed on the kind of medical help he would be needing. Thanks!
Terms searched: gangrene middle ages; gangrene gloves (I also did check the Wikipedia page for gangrene as best I could, but the fact that there were photos wasn't helping much.)