Nail bed inflammation – causes and treatment options

Causes and treatment options of nail bed inflammation

If fingers or toes around the nail wall begin to redden and hurt, the cause is often a nail bed inflammation, which is usually also very painful. In most cases it heals without any problems, but can also become a chronic problem.

Symptoms and causes of nail bed inflammation

An inflammation of the nail bed, also called paronychia or finger circulation, initially manifests itself with a reddening of the affected finger, which at the beginning only itches about. In the further course, the finger at the nail wall continues to swell, the affected area becomes sensitive to pressure, is heated and throbbing pain.

In more severe cases, foci of pus form that can reach the bone. Cause of the inflammation are almost always minor injury to the nail bed, through which the pathogens – mostly staphylococci, sometimes Candida fungi or viruses – penetrate into the tissue.

Treatment options

As long as the inflammation is still superficial, it is best treated with an antiseptic cream or an antifungal agent. If the inflammation is somewhat more severe, an antibiotic or internally administered antimycotic agent may also be necessary. Sometimes the dermatologist will take a swab from the affected area beforehand to determine the causative pathogen.

Home remedies such as chamomile baths or tea tree oil are therefore only sufficient for mild inflammations. The same is true for medical soap baths, as described in the online encyclopedia of Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeier to read. Larger and more stubborn pus blisters are lanced by the doctor and surgically treated.

Possible complications of paronychia

If left untreated, nail bed inflammation can progress further into the depths and attack the surrounding tissue, such as the tendon sheaths. Also a bone inflammation can cause the purulent inflammation, in the very worst case it can come even to a blood poisoning.

If the inflammation is purulent and no longer only superficial, doctors speak of a panaritium, the pus of which can be drained with a small surgical procedure. If the symptoms do not improve after a few days, a doctor should be consulted to prevent the inflammation from spreading.

Treat the nail bed inflammation in advance

Unpleasant inflammations can be prevented or contained in advance in many cases. Through regular care such as cutting or filing the nails, the risk is significantly reduced. The nail should not be cut too round and deep in this case.

During treatment, the cuticle on the finger and toenail should also be pushed back. To prevent the nails from breaking, it is recommended to use sharp nail scissors, but a nail clipper is more ideal, as it exerts the least pressure on the nail. Furthermore, it is beneficial to keep hands and feet as dry as possible.

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