Paronychia

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paronychia is one of the most common infections of the hand. 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. This includes house and office cleaners, laundry workers, food handlers, cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, chefs, nurses and swimmers. People with diabetes and those who take certain medicines are also at risk.

Some symptoms of chronic paronychia are:

Redness

Tenderness and swelling

Fluid under the skin around your nails, and

A thick, discolored nail

The thumb and second or third fingers of the hand you use the most are most likely to be affected.

Your doctor will prescribe medicine to treat your condition. It might take a few months for the paronychia to go away.

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