Paronychia is an infection of the skin around a fingernail that can be red, inflamed and occasionally produce pus.
Most cases can be treated at home, the Nemours Foundation says.
The infection typically emerges after the skin surrounding a nail is injured and allows germs to penetrate. Biting or sucking nails, clipping nails too short or even getting a manicure can trigger the infection.
Nemours suggests how to help prevent the problem:
- Don’t bite your nails or pick at the cuticle area around them.
- Don’t cut nails too short.
- Don’t push your cuticles back, trim them or use cuticle remover.
- If you’ll be washing a lot of dishes or if your hands will touch chemicals, wear rubber gloves.
- If you have diabetes, make sure it is under control.
- Keep your hands clean and dry.
- If you get a manicure, consider bringing your own clippers, nail file and other tools.
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