Paronychia is a infection of a skin nexto to the nail. It occurs particularly in people who are holding their hands in the water for a long time. The source of infections can be bacteria or fungi. Bacteria usually cause acute (sudden and severe) infections. Fungal – in particual candida, causer of candidiasis – usually cause chronic infections that develop more slowly and are less painful, but often persistent and sometimes difficult to cure even after longer therapy.
In acute infections, the cleft of the nail swells, becomes red and painful. The root of the nail can be lifted and, if pressed, it will release the pus. A bladder can develop along the nail. Symptoms of chronic infections are similar. Usually, a skin around several nails is also infected. The area where the nail is made is no longer protected by a membrane, is damaged, and that causes deformed nails. Sometimes the fungus attacks nails that thicken, become faded and lose color, and occasionally take on a soft, dusty surface.
What to do?
Paronychia is easier to prevent if you protect your hands when you immerse them in water. Wear rubber gloves over cotton gloves, or sprinkle the inside of rubber gloves with talc.
If you go to the doctor while an acute infection in the initial stages, antibiotic therapy could solve the problem. If there is an accumulation of pus, the doctor may cut the bladder, allowing the pus to leak and ease the pain. If the infection is chronic, the doctor will probably prescribe the cream or antifungal tincture, which you will have to put on a sick nail (nails) immediately after washing your hands.
After several months of teating it usually disappears completely, meaning that any raised and deformed nails should return to normal.