Paronychia: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Paronychia is an infection of the nail bed. It can result from poor nail hygiene. It is of two types

  • Acute
  • Chronic

Most common micro-organism that causes the acute type is Staphylococcus aureus.

In the chronic type organisms usually isolated include

  • Staphylococcus pyogenes
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Candida
  • E.coli

The chronic type is more common in those women whose hands are exposed to water for many hours.

Symptoms include

  • pain
  • discharge
  • swelling over the nail base
  • fever may be present

Treatment includes

  • anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling
  • antibiotics to kill the causative organism
  • anti-fungal medication to kill candida
  • surgery

After pus formation has occurred it is important to drain it, or the acute type may become chronic. Partial or complete removal of the nail may be required to completely drain the pus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is surgery a must, or can cure occur by antibiotics.?

I cured my paronychia by taking costly antibiotics and painkillers for 15 days regularly and maintaining nail cleanliness. So surgery is not a must, but you may require it. If your doctor suggests it, then you probably need it.

How long will my nail take to grow back after it has been removed during surgery?

Any where between 3 to 6 months.

How can I maintain proper nail hygiene?

Proper nail hygiene can be maintained by

  • during pedicure and manicure make sure the instruments have been washed and then rubbed with alcohol
  • trim your nails squarely, avoid rounding the corners
  • avoid prolonged exposure to water (use gloves)
  • use a nail brush to clean your nails and apply a moisturiser
  • never cut the cuticle

I hope the information provided was helpful. If you have any query you can ask me at the contact me page.

This page was last updated on 13th March 2009.

Other causes of finger joint pain...

Finger Fracture

Finger Amputation

Glomus Tumor

Mallet Finger

Trigger Finger

Swan Neck Deformity

Boutonniere Deformity

Kirner Deformity


Bowlers Thumb

Thumb Dislocation

Go back from Paronychia to Finger Joint Pain


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