This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Diagnosing nail infections

Written by: | Published:

Nail infections can occur through daily activities Nail infections can occur through daily activities

Acute Paronychia

Acute paronychia presents with the sudden onset of pain, inflammation, swelling and tenderness in the nail fold. It is a common problem that may occur at any age. It is a caused by a bacterial infection, usually Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) or a streptococcus, that gains access through some breach of the nail fold.

As a result, acute paronychia is more common in people who bite their nails, those with a skin condition such as eczema or people who continually have wet hands such as cleaners and gardeners. People with diabetes are also more susceptible to the condition. An early cellulitis may progress to form and abscess.

Initially, analgesics, warm soaks or compresses of half strength hydrogen peroxide may ease the symptoms but once there is abscess formation, incision and drainage is required under a digital nerve block. Antibiotics are not usually required to treat this conditions unless a spreading cellulitis develops. Penicillin is generally sufficient, unless dealing with a case of MRSA.

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.


Really very happy to say, your post is very interesting to read. I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job.Keep it up
Posted by: ,

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.