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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Paronychia


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Paronychia refers to swelling and infection of the skin surrounding a fingernail or toenail.

What is going on in the body?

Paronychia may be caused by repeated injury that creates swelling. It may also be caused by an infection with bacteria or yeast organisms. Swelling lifts the wall of skin underlying the nail and makes the area more prone to future infection.

What are the causes and risks of the infection?

Following are some common causes of paronychia:

  • repeated injury of the cuticle skin, such as in vigorous manicures
  • repetitive soaking of hands in water at work or at home
  • excessive hand washing, especially when the hands are not dried properly
  • Paronychia is more common in a person who is prone to bacterial and yeast infections, such as an individual who has diabetes. Repeated bouts of paronychia are common.


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    Paronychia: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Lynn West, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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