Paronychia (nail infection) is an infection of the skin around your fingernails and toenails. The condition is caused by bacteria or a type of yeast called Candida while in some, it takes the combination of both bacteria and yeast.
Types of Paronychia
A paronychia is an infection of the skin that surrounds a toenail or fingernail. There are two different types of paronychia, acute and chronic:
- Acute paronychia: This usually appears as a sudden, very painful area of swelling, warmth and redness around a fingernail or toenail, usually after an injury to the area. An acute paronychia typically is caused by an infection with bacteria that invade the skin where it was injured.
- Chronic paronychia: This is an infection that usually develops slowly, causing gradual swelling, tenderness and redness of the skin around the nails. It usually is caused by Candida or other species of yeast (fungus). It often affects several fingers on the same hand.
Signs of paronychia
The symptoms of both acute and chronic paronychia are very similar. They’re largely distinguished from each other by the speed of onset and the duration of the infection.
- redness of the skin around your nail
- tenderness of the skin around your nail
- pus-filled blisters
- changes in nail shape, color, or texture
- detachment of your nail
Causes of paronychia
There are multiple causes of both acute and chronic paronychia. The underlying cause of each is bacteria, Candida yeast, or a combination of the two agents.
How paronychia is diagnosed
Mere observation by a medical doctor is enough in diagnosing, however, if doctor’s isn’t so satisfied, a swab can be taken for laboratory analysis.
How paronychia can be prevented
- Good hygiene is important for preventing paronychia
- Keep your hands and feet clean to prevent bacteria from getting between your nails and skin.
- Avoiding trauma caused by biting, picking, manicures, or pedicures can also help you prevent acute infections.
- To prevent a chronic infection, you should avoid excessive exposure to water and wet environments and keep your hands and feet as dry as possible.
- Wear rubber gloves with an absorbent cotton lining if your hands are exposed routinely to water or harsh chemicals.
- Avoid biting your nails and picking at the skin around your nails.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range by following your diet and taking your medications.
What do we have to offer?
Not all conditions are so serious and life-threatening if medical help is sought right away before getting complicated. Paronychia is even easy to abate, therefore, let it not so ripe and swollen like the diagram above before you check in on us. Your health is our utmost concern.