What are the Different Types of Paronychia Treatment?

H. Lo

Different types of paronychia treatment include soaking the affected nail in water, taking medications, and draining the area of pus. Surgery is also an option, but only in severe cases. Paronychia itself is a common medical condition in which skin infection and inflammation occur around the nails. Causes of paronychia include trauma, bacteria and fungus. The type of paronychia treatment that an affected person might undergo depends on the cause of the infection, as well as whether the condition is acute or chronic.

In some cases, a physician may prescribe antibiotics to treat paronychia.
In some cases, a physician may prescribe antibiotics to treat paronychia.

Acute bacterial paronychia is often treated by soaking the nail in a mixture of just water, or half water and half antibacterial soap. The nail should soak between two and four times a day, approximately 15 minutes each. Usually, a mild, acute case of bacterial paronychia will only last for about 10 days.

A doctor can recommend a number of treatment options for paronychia, usually based on the severity of the condition.
A doctor can recommend a number of treatment options for paronychia, usually based on the severity of the condition.

If an acute bacterial paronychia infection does not respond to warm soaking, a doctor might prescribe antibiotics. This medication helps eliminate the bacterial infection causing either acute or chronic paronychia. For chronic paronychia, a bacterial infection can last for weeks, so the patient might have to take antibiotics for this amount of time.

A person will have to avoid biting their nails while trying to recover from paronychia.
A person will have to avoid biting their nails while trying to recover from paronychia.

Chronic paronychia can also occur as a result of fungal infection. In this case, the best paronychia treatment is antifungal medication, which will kill the fungus causing the infection. The patient applies the medication onto the affected area, making sure to keep the area clean and dry otherwise. If the paronychia is caused by fungi, the infection can last for months.

A mixture of antibacterial soap and water can be used in treating paronychia.
A mixture of antibacterial soap and water can be used in treating paronychia.

In addition to soaking the nail in water or taking medication, another type of paronychia treatment is draining an abscess. The doctor will numb the area and then use a scalpel to cut and drain the pus; in some instances, he might also remove part of the nail. This type of treatment usually takes place in severe cases and can accompany other types of treatment.

With early and proper treatment, paronychia often has a good chance of healing. Complications, such as permanent change or damage to the nail, can occur, though. To prevent paronychia from occurring in the first place, an individual can protect his nails by keeping them clean, dry, and away from chemicals. In addition, he should avoid biting or picking at his nails and pulling or tearing at the cuticles. Another good prevention tip is to avoid injury, as this can cause an infection, which can then lead to paronychia.

One type of paronychia treatment is draining the pus with a scalpel.
One type of paronychia treatment is draining the pus with a scalpel.

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Discussion Comments

Penzance356

My mother was given a lot of information about paronychia when she was diagnosed as diabetic. As this condition can lead to complications with healing she has to be extra careful to avoid it. Maintaining a steady blood sugar level is real important.

angelBraids

@Valencia - It sounds like the clue to avoid more problems is in your final comment. Manicures are putting you at risk because of the cutting or manipulation of your cuticles.

Plus, if you have a polish then you are using varnish remover at some point. Both of these contain chemicals which you would be better off avoiding.

I've had nail infections in the past but these days I avoid anything which may damage the sensitive tissue in those areas. Cutting my nails regularly does help avoid tears and snags as well.

Valencia

I've suffered from fungus toenail for years and last week I got a fingernail infection too! The doctor has given me some antibiotics to treat the paronychia but I'm feeling pretty fed up about my bad luck.

Are there any additional changes I can make to my diet or lifestyle to avoid this in the future? I should mention that the toenail fungus has banished me from the world of pedicures. It's depressing to have to miss my weekly manicure too.

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