Chronic Paronychia

Monday, January 16, 2012

Paronychia is a soft tissue infection around a fingernail. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Paronychia is a common problem that affects fingernails and toenails. It is caused by an infection of the skin around the nail. Chronic paronychia can happen after dish washing, finger sucking, trimming the cuticles too much or frequent contact with chemicals. In chronic paronychia, the cuticle pulls away from the nail, letting germs get under your skin.

People who work with water a lot are at risk. People with diabetes and those who take certain medicines also are at risk.

Some symptoms of chronic paronychia are:

Redness

Tenderness and swelling

Fluid under the skin around your nails, and

A thick, discolored nail

Your doctor will tell you what kind of medicine is right for you. He or she might want you to use a steroid cream that you put on your cuticle, or your doctor might prescribe pills. If you have very bad paronychia, you might need minor surgery to drain the fluid around the nail.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.