Paronychia is a mild bacterial nail infection typically occurring on the side of the fingernail or toenail. While acute cases of paronychia finger occur, the infection can become chronic if left untreated.

What You Need To Know About Paronychia

What Causes Paronychia?

Most commonly, paronychia results from bacteria and candida yeast getting in irritated, punctured, or damaged skin. Moisture or excessive wetness of the hands and feet causes yeast and bacteria to grow, often resulting in a swollen nail bed, inflamed cuticles, and an infected cuticle finger.

Other paronychia causes vary from nail-biting, hangnails, broken skin, and even dermatitis. Without proper treatment, acute paronychia can become chronic paronychia. If left untreated, paronychia can spread to other cuticles and nails and cause further irritation.

The pain from paronychia can make everyday tasks a challenge. Getting relief for paronychia starts with a visit to Resurgens Orthopaedics. Schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians now.

Symptoms of Paronychia

Acute paronychia typically appears during quick episodes that interfere with your life. However, chronic paronychia appears slowly as fungus spreads, making it harder to treat.

Common paronychia symptoms include:

  • Nail or skin irritation and redness

  • Swollen cuticles

  • Pus-filled cysts

  • Deterioration of nail

  • Separation of the nail from finger

Only a doctor can diagnose a bacterial nail infection. Getting help for acute and chronic paronychia starts with a visit to a Resurgens physician.

How Is Paronychia Diagnosed?

During your consultation, your Resurgens physician will examine your fingers and narrow down any other causes of your pain. They will examine the area of your pain and narrow down the causes for your swollen cuticle.

In more severe cases, doctors will take a specimen of the fluid or pus in the irritated area. This specimen will be used to resolve whether the cause for infection is bacterial or fungal, and it will help the doctor determine proper methods for your treatment.

Treatment For Paronychia

In cases of acute paronychia, soaking the irritated area in warm to hot water multiple times a day may help relieve the swelling and irritation of an infected cuticle finger. After soaking, be sure to dry the irritated area thoroughly to keep moisture from causing bacterial or fungal spread.

If symptoms persist, visit a Resurgens Orthopaedics physician. Your physician may prescribe a topical cream or lotion to help with itching and irritation in case of fungal infection. In case of bacterial infection, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed.

In severe chronic paronychia cases, your physician may suggest surgery to drain fluid from behind the nail or even remove the nail entirely.

Paronychia doesn't have to interfere with your life. Schedule an appointment at one of our 24 Metro Atlanta locations now!

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