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    Paronychia Treatment

    1. Protect Nail

    • Do not remove any part of the nail.
    • If an artificial nail is on an infected finger, remove it.

    2. Reduce Pain and Swelling

    For mild nail infection or while waiting to see a doctor:

    • Soak the affected foot or hand 2 to 3 times daily in warm water.
    • Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and bandage.

    3. When to See a Doctor

    Seek medical help as soon as possible if:

    • Symptoms don’t improve after 2 to 3 days.
    • A pus-filled abscess pocket forms on the side or base of the nail.
    • The person has a fever and red streaks around the nail, nail discoloration, or joint or muscle pain.

    4. Follow Up

    If you seek medical help:

    • The doctor may sample pus or fluid and prescribe an antibiotic or anti-fungal medication.
    • If a pus-filled abscess pocket develops, a doctor may need to drain it.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on October 10, 2015

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