One of the most common nail infection, paronychia is one that can develop in your fingernail or in your toenail. There are both acute and chronic paronychia. Chronic paronychia causes could be many and is often known as a fungal infection. The milder form of paronychia can be cured by some quick remedies and natural treatments at home.

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Table Of Content:

What is Paronychia?

Paronychia is understood to be a nail infection, that affects both the fingers and toe nails equally. The staphylococci bacterias are responsible for this. The bacteria enters the skin around the nails that are damaged by one or more reasons like nail biting, dishwashing or other chemicals that can irritate your skin. Chronic paronychia is the result of a fungal infection.

Paronychia is sometimes contagious when the other areas around the skin are also damaged from any of the reasons started above. However, it does not spread from one person to another.

Types Of Paronychia:

There are two types of paronychia.

1. Acute paronychia:

In this case, the infection in the skin develops fast and lasts only for a few days. Acute paronychia cause is the result of a skin break. Once the skin breaks, the germs spread and infection grows in the toe nail or fingernails.

2. Chronic paronychia:

Unlike in acute paronychia, in chronic paronychia, the infection starts to develop slowly and will last for weeks. Chronic paronychia cause is when the skin is exposed to chemicals like detergent, dish wash or other irritants, overexposure to water. A mix of yeast like candida, viruses like herpes simplex and bacteria like staphylococci may be found in the affected area and is responsible for the infection.

See Also: Home Treatment For Toenail Fungus

Paronychia Causes

Here are some of the reasons why you may be experiencing this.

1. Common Causes:

What we do not realize is, paronychia can be caused by a lot of common things that we do every day with our hands.

  • Biting the nail too often. For some, this a habit.
  • Sucking the finger
  • Pulling a hangnail, thus exposing the skin and inviting infection
  • Cutting the nail too short, thus exposing skin.
  • Having contact with hands-on water.

2. Chemicals:

Exposing or allowing your hands or finger area to come in contacts with chemicals like the glue that is seen in the artificial nails, detergents of clothes and dish wash liquids or bars.

3. Underlying Health Condition:

For some, their underlying health conditions will trigger paronychia.

  • Some people have to diabetes will experience paronychia more often than others. For them, the healing period is more than that of non-diabetic people, thus leading to a medical or chronic condition.
  • People who suffer from medical conditions like poor blood circulation in the body.

4. Occupational Reasons:

Practising a certain kind of occupation can also have an impact on the probability of experiencing paronychia.

  • People whose occupation involve being exposed to top pathogens are at a higher risk of paronychia. Dairy farmers, bartenders, fishermen, etc., are a few of them.

5. Vitamin Deficiency:

A deficiency of vitamin B can also lead to paronychia foot or paronychia finger. Along with this, zinc deficiency in the body is also another reason for paronychia.

See Also: Home Remedies For Fungal Infection

Symptoms Of Paronychia:

Here are a couple of symptoms you need to watch out for. However, remember that the symptoms vary from person to person and from acute to chronic.

  1. Pus filled blisters are a sign. Pus, commonly observed in the people suffering from paronychia.
  2. Redness of the skin that surrounds the skin.
  3. The colour, texture and shape of the nail will start to change.
  4. Paronychia green-yellow pus is the most common first symptom. This contributes to the tenderness you may feel.
  5. Swelling in the area, and in some cases, pain accompanies the swell.

Paronychia Treatments At Home:

Like treating many others, paronychia can also be treated at home with the magic of many commonly available ingredients in your kitchen.

1. Soaking in Warm Water:

Paronychia under the nail can be treated by soaking the affected area in hot water.

  • Fill a bowl with lukewarm tap water.
  • Add some drops of lemon juice into the warm water (or)
  • If you have broken skin, Add a pinch or pour some saline solution into it.
  • Soak your toe or fingers in it for about 20 minutes. Repeat this 3 to 4 times a day. (1)

Soaking your hands or toes in warm water will enable increased blood flow to the affected area, thus helping in fighting the infection. This treatment is helpful for curing acute paronychia at home.

2. Paronychia Wound Dressing:

Sometimes, bandaging the affected area (broken skin) with petroleum jelly will also help.

  • Begin by drying your hands with a towel.
  • Apply petroleum jelly or Vaseline in the affected area and bandage it securely. Make sure it is not too tight or too loose.

for those without broken skin, simply apply a pinch of petroleum jelly around on the affected area. This is the best home remedy to treat paronychia.

3. Epsom Salt:

Paronychia Epsom salt helps to reduce the inflammation of the area. It has also been traditionally regarded to cure sores and reduce stress.

  • Fill a bucket with warm water and add about 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt. Soak your feet or fingers in it for 15 minutes. Repeat this every day.
  • Remember to dry your feet post this.

When you soak your infected area, Epsom salt is known to relieve pain and thus provide you relief.

4. Garlic:

Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties this is used to treat the fungal infections (2) and can reduce the swelling in the affected toe or fingernail.

  • Crush bits of garlic or grind them in the mixer with some drops of water.
  • Make a juice of it and drop a few drops in the affected area.
  • Keep this for about 20 minutes. Repeat this daily.

Garlic juice to known to relieve pain and will also help in reducing the swelling around your nails. This garlic treatment is helpful for curing paronychia at home.

5. Turmeric:

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve the area from inflammation of any sort.

  • Heat turmeric with oil in a low flame.
  • After it cools slightly, applies the paste on to the affected area and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Wash off and keep the area dry and clean.
  • Repeat this daily.

Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory property coupled with oil, that will have pain relieving effect will help in the treatment of paronychia at home.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid and can help kill harmful bacteria.

  • Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in warm water.
  • Soak your feet or fingers in it for 20 minutes. Repeat this every day.

Apple cider vinegar will kill the harmful bacteria that cause paronychia.

When Should Consult A Professional?

Talk and consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms of paronychia along with:

  • Diabetes: Paronychia diabetes is a bad combination that can lead to a lower healing rate, thus making your infection very chronic.
  • Generally, when the symptom of paronychia is redness around the skin, surrounding the nail. When this redness spreading out to the nail, you need to watch out!
  • Fever: If you have a fever, you need to consult your doctor. (3)
  • An accumulation of pus is another clear indication to talk to your doctor.
  • Ideally, paronychia cured by a week. When this does not happen, it is at best to seek medical help.

Paronychia under nail has been a problem for a lot of people. What makes it even sadder is how it can make you feel about your hands and toes. These home remedies we have listed out, are sure the best and effective ways to treatment of paronychia.

See Also: How To Do Manicure At Home

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I Treat Paronychia With Essential Oils?

Yes. Tea tree oil, essential oil can help to fight the infection and thus provide you relief. Simply roll this on the affected area or use it in combination with Epsom salt or coconut oil. This will be helpful.

2. Are The Home Remedies Same For Paronychia Toenail Home Treatment As That Of Finger Nails?

Yes, they are. In both cases, the fight is to kill the harmful bacteria causing trouble to the broken skin. Therefore, these remedies are useful in fighting the bacteria in both the toenails and fingernails.

3. What Happens If Paronychia Is Left Untreated?

Typically, when it is left untreated, the infection starts to spread to the nails. Since it is an infection, it is fungal in nature and thus will bad for the body if left unattended.


About Saanvi

Saanvi Sharma is an excellent web content writer in health and nutrition. Her expertise in the subject stems from in-depth research and knowledge that she gained over the years. Her interest in science coupled with a bachelor's degree in biotechnology proves as an added advantage and further adds value to her writing. She is highly interested in science, thus writing quality content became her virtue.