TREATMENT OF PARONYCHIA (NAIL INFECTIONS)

  • Michael Majetich, DO
  • Louis Leone, DO, FAOASM

Abstract

Paronychia is a skin infection that occurs around a fingernail or toenail. It can be acute lasting less than six weeks or can be chronic and persist for more than six weeks. It is most likely to occur following a break in the skin, such as with trauma, nail-biting, and ingrown nails. It can also be more common in patients with diabetes, bad immune systems, poor circulation, or those who work with their hands in water a lot. Symptoms include pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes the development of a pus-filled blister. Your physician may get cultures to look for a specific bacterial infection. Treatments may include soaks in warm water, antibiotic use, cutting the pus pocket open, and sometimes even removal of the nail to help the pus drain. Depending on the extent of your infection, acute paronychia should clear within a few days to a few weeks.

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Patient Education Handout