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Paronychia

Paronychia is a skin infection (fungal or bacterial) around a nail. Symptoms of redness or swelling can come on suddenly and last for a short period of time (acute), or symptoms can be ongoing or occur repeatedly (chronic).

The infection is more likely to develop from having the hands or feet in water repeatedly, or from an injury, such as biting or cutting off a hangnail or pushing back a cuticle.

Minor redness or swelling may clear up with home treatment, such as keeping the area clean. Some cases require treatment with topical antibiotics or antifungal medicine. Occasionally a doctor will need to drain the infected area.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.