How is paronychia treated?
Warm water soaks 3 to 4 times a day can help reduce pain and swelling if you have acute paronychia. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if your paronychia is caused by bacteria. He or she may prescribe antifungal medicines if your infection is caused by a fungus.
If you have a pus-filled abscess pocket, your doctor may need to drain it. Your doctor will numb the area, separate the skin from the base or sides of the nail, and drain the pus.
If you have chronic paronychia, it is important to keep your nails dry and protect them from harsh chemicals. You may need to wear gloves or use a skin-drying cream to protect skin from moisture. You may need an antifungal medicine or antibiotic, depending on what is causing the infection. You may need to apply a steroid cream or a solution made of ethanol (alcohol) and thymol (fungicide) to keep nails clean and dry.
Paronychia caused by a fungus can be hard to get rid of, so be patient and follow your doctor’s recommendations. If the infection does not clear up, be sure to tell your doctor.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff