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Paronychia

more about Paronychia


  • Infection occasionally develops beneath the fold of skin that surrounds each fingernail.  This infected tissue is called a paronchia.

  • Redness, warmth, swelling, pain, and tenderness surrounding the fingernail
  • Drainage of pus from the side of the nail

  • The usual cause is Staphylococcus or Streptococcus.  Both are bacteria.
  • Occasionally, the cause is Candida (a fungus).

  • Swelling of the nail fold, redness, tenderness, and drainage of pus from the side of the nail generally indicate a paronychia.

  • People whose fingers are constantly in water
  • Children who are thumb-suckers
  • Diabetics

  • Warm soaks and an antibiotic by mouth may cure the paronychia, but often a minor surgical procedure is required (incision and drainage, using sterile technique).

  • Chronic (longstanding) paronychia, especially if there is dirt trapped under the skin fold

  • Contact your child's physician if redness, warmth, swelling, pain, and tenderness surround a fingernail.  Meanwhile, tepid or warm soaks (but not hot soaks) can be started.

  • Ingrown nails are painful areas of nail, almost always a toenail, due to the irritation of a sharp piece of nail sticking into the soft tissues around the nail.  There may be surrounding redness, and there may even be drainage of pus.  However, the ingrown nail causes inflammation and infection along the side edges of the nail, and is not an infection of the nail fold at the nail's base.
  • A felon is an infection deep within the pulp space of a finger, and is not primarily an infection of the nail bed.




more about Paronychia


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