The paronychia is a benign bacterial infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue of the fingers. It is located either on the perimeter of the nail, under the nail and at the level of the pulp of the fingers. Treatment is based on local antiseptic care. Surgery is considered in case of paronychia at the stage of purulent abscess. In case of paronychia, it is important to check that tetanus toxoid boosters have been regularly performed.
What is a paronychia?
A paronychia (fresh fingers) is a cutaneous and subcutaneous infection of a finger . It is located most often:
- On the periphery of a fingernail (perionyxis);
- Under the nail;
- At the level of the pulp of a finger.
The infection is caused by a bacterium, most often staphylococcus aureus . The most common infection is paronychia (fresh fingers) which is localized in the fingernails and fingers, on the hands and feet. A rarer case, the deep paronychia of the second or first phalanx can extend to the tendon sheath: it is a ” phlegmon of the sheaths” which makes the flexing of the fingers difficult and causes throbbing pains.
What to do in case of paronychia ?
The first thing to do if your finger seems swollen and red is to not let the infection hang around . Indeed, if the paronychia heals easily, the pain can gradually become more consistent, sometimes pulsating and going so far as to prevent you from sleeping. ” Without early treatment, the finger can eventually become whitish due to the presence of pus under the skin, ” says Dr. Christian Terlaud, a member of the National Society of Internal Medicine *. The infection can then affect the bones and joints.
A mild paronychia (fresh fingers usa) without purulent abscess can be treated with antiseptic baths to be repeated several times a day. Do not hesitate to ask your pharmacist for advice. If in doubt, you can also consult your general practitioner who will check your tetanus vaccination booster and prescribe, if necessary, antibiotic treatment in addition to antiseptic baths. If the wound follows an animal bite, medical advice is unavoidable. Other cases of paronychia require the intervention of a doctor.
A paronychia not like the others
This is rare but some professions (butchers, cooks, fishermen) can contract a so-called “erysipeloid” whitlow . The latter results from the disease of “mullet of pork”, a bacterial infection caused by injury or sting after direct contact with animals (pork, crustaceans). Taking antibiotics is necessary.
Usually, the immune system can fight against infectious bacteria and prevent them from proliferating. But in case of fatigue or illness, the body is more fragile and therefore more likely to contract infections. The first precaution is to strengthen your immune system by having a healthy lifestyle . In addition, it is recommended not to bite your nails or chew the skin around your fingers. In case of small manual work (gardening, do-it-yourself), you can wear gloves. Finally, also remember to respect the rules of hygiene for your manicures (nail scissors or nail clippers well washed).