Paronychia

Paronychia is an infection of the skin caused by germs. It happens by the fingernail or toenail. You can avoid it by not:

  • Pulling on hangnails.

  • Nail biting.

  • Thumb sucking.

  • Cutting fingernails and toenails too short.

  • Cutting the skin at the base and sides of the fingernail or toenail (cuticle).

HOME CARE

  • Keep the fingers or toes very dry. Put rubber gloves over cotton gloves when putting hands in water.

  • Keep the wound clean and bandaged (dressed) as told by your doctor.

  • Soak the fingers or toes in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Soak them 3 to 4 times per day for germ infections. Fungal infections are difficult to treat. Fungal infections often require treatment for a long time.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You have redness, puffiness (swelling), or pain that gets worse.

  • You see yellowish-white fluid (pus) coming from the wound.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have a bad smell coming from the wound or bandage.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help if you are not doing well or get worse.