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What is Paronychia

If you have painful red and swollen skin around your toenail or fingernail, it can be easy to ignore and pass off as a hangnail. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that this type of pain can actually be from a fungal infection within your skin. This type of infection is not uncommon but does require medical treatment from a trained podiatrist or medical professional. What is this condition? It is paronychia.

Paronychia is a soft tissue infection around a toenail that begins as mild cellulitis. Over time, if not properly treated, it can progress into a sore. More precisely, it is an infection of the thin tissue forming the outer layer of a body’s surface and lining adjacent to the nail plate that begins as cellulitis but progresses into an abscess over time if not promptly treated.

There are 2 forms of paronychia: acute and chronic. They usually differ in causation, infectious agent, and treatment.

The acute infection, which is painful and usually pus-filled, is commonly caused by staphylococci bacteria. The patient’s condition and discomfort are noticeably improved by a simple drainage procedure. Chronic paronychial infections are usually fungal, rather than bacterial, in nature.

Signs and Symptoms of Paronychia

  • Runaround infection
  • Pain
  • Nail plates become thickened and discolored
  • The cuticles and nail folds may separate from the nail plate
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pus collection under the skin
  • Thickened skin around fingernails and toenails

Treatment Strategies

  • Antibiotics as prescribed by your podiatrist
  • Soak toenails in warm water with Epsom salts 3-4 times a day
  • Incision and drainage of abscess

Do you have swelling, redness, and pain on or around the skin of your toenails? Have all of your at-home remedies failed to cure it and you are stuck? Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico and his highly trained team can help treat your paronychia before it gets the best of you. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.

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