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Peace of Mind,
in 3 easy steps...

Step 1:
Fill out questionnaire

Step 2:
Video-call with a doctor

Step 3:
Get prescriptions to your pharmacy

Peace of Mind,
in 3 easy steps…
Step 1:
Fill out questionnaire
Step 2:
Video-call with a doctor
Step 3:
Get prescriptions to your pharmacy

Paronychia (Bacterial Nail Infection)

Paronychia is a skin infection that occurs next to nails. It can be a fungal or bacterial nail infection. Paronychia causes the nail to become tender and swollen. If untreated, the nail itself could come infected leading to a bacterial nail infection as a result. Occasionally, pus may form. This condition is called whitlow.

Dr. Andrea Bernhard
Hi! I’m Dr. Andrea Bernhard

So you have a Bacterial Nail Infection, we are sorry to hear that. Let’s schedule a Video-Call so we can get you the medicine you need.

Paronychia

  • If the infection is painful and sudden, bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus could be to blame.
  • Yeast is a fungus. Candida causes fungal infection. It develops slowly and is also likely to become a chronic condition as well.
  • Less common causes are other microbes. Like viruses and other fungi for example.

Antibiotics may be necessary if it is a bacterial nail infection. Yet, if the infection is from yeast or fungus, anti-fungal medicines may work. Rarely, it may need a minor surgery to drain out collected pus.

Causes of a bacterial nail infection

Some infections can happen with no reason. Other conditions thrive from bacteria and may lead to infections as a result.

Water

Hands in water may increase the risk of infection. Especially hands in soapy water. The nail fold may have damage from constant washing. Thus, people with jobs requiring constant washing are prone to the infection. For example, cleaners, bartenders, and fishermen. Beauticians, dairy farmers and dish washers are also examples as well.

Injury

If you have broken skin there is a higher chance for the germs to get inside your skin. Broken skin can be from an injury. Also, people with a habit of biting nails may get an infection as well. Other conditions when infections may develop, for example:

  • Presence of splinters.
  • If you have a manicure procedure executed poorly. This is from pushing the cuticles too far back.
  • Pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema or contact dermatitis, for instance.

Covering

Gloves prevent ventilation and gathers moisture. It also encourages the growth of bacteria too. Use cotton-lined rubber gloves to minimize the effect of water on your hands. Do this if you have to keep your hands in water for long periods of time. Also, artificial nail extensions also cause germs to multiply as well.

How it Works

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Treatment for a bacterial nail infection

Antibiotics

Antibiotic creams can treat the infection. This is if the infection is minor and not very painful. Oral antibiotics, however, treat moderate to severe bacterial infections. But, if you do not experience a significant difference in pain, consult your doctor. Doctors perform a swab test to identify which strain of bacteria is causing the problem. As a result, they alter the medication based on the test.

Draining the pus out

A medical professional makes a small cut. This is to drain accumulated pus to ease the swelling as a result.

Warm bathing and painkillers

Painkillers such as Advil or Tylenol, for example, may relieve pain. Also, soaking the infected finger or toe has also proven to be beneficial as well. Soak the infected finger or toe in warm saline water a few times a day.

Chronic paronychia is where the infection is persistent even after 6 weeks of treatment. In this case, it is likely that there is an underlying skin condition. Such as yeast or fungal infection, for example.

Precautions

  • Avoid keeping your hands in water for long periods of time.
  • Dry your hands and feet well after a shower or washing them. As much as possible, keep them dry as well.
  • Ensure your hands are clean, warm and dry as much as possible.
  • Don’t use products that could irritate the skin. Like strong soaps and detergents, for example.
  • Avoid getting manicures. Also, don’t suck your finger or bite your nails as well.
  • Be sure to wear comfortable and breathable footwear if the injury is on the toe.
  • If there is an underlying skin condition, be sure to treat it with antifungal creams. Steroid creams or antifungal tablets can also treat skin conditions as well.
  • Avoid biting your nails and clipping your nails too close to the skin. Also, don’t pick at the skin around your nails as well.

 

 

 

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