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Cuticle Infections and What To Do About Them

At one time or another, nearly everyone has suffered from a cuticle infection which is medically termed Paronychia.This is an infection of the tissues that surround the bed of the nail. These infections begin when a virus, bacteria, or fungus slowly invades the soft skin around the nail. Injuries that are left untreated or wounds that are located close to the fingernails also may start an infection of the cuticle.

Symptoms of Nail Infection

Most cuticle infections are generally not serious and they carry symptoms that make diagnosis simple. When an individual suspects they have an infection it is suggested that proper treatment is obtained by seeking medical care from a physician. Infections of any kind that are left untreated may begin to spread and eventually enter the blood stream which acts a poison to the body and becomes life threatening. Some symptoms that one may look for when a cuticle is infected are:

• Swollen and painful skin around the edges of the nail bed.
• A low grade temperature with chills.
• Oozing pus of various colors such as white, yellow, or green.
• Very tender and red nail beds that may seem hot to the touch.
• Underarm glands that becomes painful and sometimes swollen.
• Nails that loosen from the nail bed.

Treating the Infection

The path of treatment will be determined by the stage of the infection. Sometimes one may be able to use simple antiseptic soaks to rid the infection while others may need oral prescription medications. Most cases are usually mild and there are many home remedies that prove very effective, such as, using hot water to place infected nails in twice daily until water begins to cool or if fungus is diagnosed as the cause of the infection, one may apply antifungal cream to the area for seven to ten days. There are many other remedies that can be done at home but one should always consult a physician before starting any treatment.

Prevention Practices

Any type of nail condition can be bothersome and embarrassing depending upon the appearance that the infection may cause. Most of these infections can be avoided by using proper hygiene and maintaining a dry and clean nail bed. One should also maintain clean and sanitized manicure equipment and keep nails clipped short in order to avoid harboring germs beneath the nail.

Sometimes the occupation an individual holds may make them more prone to infections. Often farmers, bartenders, fishermen, and housewives repeatedly are exposed to environments that are wet thus helping in the development of a fungus.
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