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
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
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