is an infection that occurs around the nails
and usually goes away completely with treatment.
More to Know
Paronychia starts with damage to the skin around the nail, often from pushing back
the cuticle, frequent manicures, biting off a hangnail, or thumb-sucking. This lets
germs get under the skin and cause an infection. It most commonly affects fingers
but sometimes can occur in toes.
The infected area can become swollen, red, and painful, and a pus-filled blister
(abscess) may form. Usually,
a paronychia is no big deal and can be treated at home by soaking the infected nail
in warm water for 20 minutes a few times a day. The paronychia should heal on its
own in a few days.
If an abscess forms, it may need to be drained by a doctor. Rarely, the infection
can spread to the rest of the finger or toe and lead to bigger problems that need
Keep in Mind
To help prevent paronychia, don't pick or bite around nails, don't cut nails too
short, don't push cuticles back, and wear rubber gloves when washing a lot of dishes
or coming into contact with chemicals.
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