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Fingernail Infection – Pictures, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies

Written by Dr.Mary

There are a number of different infections that can occur that involve the fingernails. An infection which occurs along the edge of the fingernail is called a paronychia. This is the most common infection of the hands and when left untreated may progress to a much more severe infection of the entire finger.

A paronychia infection develops next to the fingernail. It normally arises anywhere around the “U; shaped line where the fingernail does not seem to have a protruding edge – where the edge of the nail is covered by skin. The proximal and lateral nail folds are a barrier or seal, between the nail plate as well as the surrounding tissue. If there is a break or tear in this seal, the bacterium will easily enter. It can be a very mild infection, but is often linked with a very small abscess which is a collection of pus beneath the skin.

Paronychias are mainly caused by common skin bacteria which enter the skin around the nail which has been damaged by trauma, such a finger sucking, nail biting, chemical irritants as well as dishwashing.

Other Nail Infections


Pseudomonas is another bacterial infection that occurs between the natural nail plate and the bed of the nail.

Tinea Unguis

Tinea Unguis is ringworm of the nails and is characterized by deformity, nail thickening as well as eventually results in nail loss.


Onychatrophia is a washing away of the nail plate that causes it to lose its luster, becomes smaller and often sheds entirely.


Onychorrhexis brittle nails that can very often vertically split, peel or/and have vertical ridges.


Onychauxis over-thickening of the nail plate – can be caused by internal disorders.


Leuconychia white lines or spots n the plate of the nail – may be caused by tiny air bubbles which are trapped in the layers of the nail plate due to trauma.

Beau’s Lines

Beau’s Lines nails characterized by lines of darkened cells which are horizontal as well as linear depressions.


Kollonychia caused thru iron deficiency anemia. Nails will show ridges which are raised as well as being thin and concave.



Melanonychia vertical pigmented bands most often described as nail “moles” which normally form in the matrix of the nail.


Pterygium inward advancement of the skin over the nail plate normally happens because of trauma to the matrix because of a surgical procedure or because of a deep cut to the nail plate.
Pterygium Inversum Unguis

Pterygium Inversum Unguis acquired condition characterized by a growth of the hyponychium which if forward and characterized by tissue which is living firmly attached to the underside of the nail plate and contains a blood supply and nerves.
Psoriasis of the nails

Psoriasis of the nails has raw, scaly skin and is often confused with eczema. When it attacks the plate of the nail, it leaves it pitted; dry as well as it will often crumble.


Acute paronychia symptoms are:

  • The area which is affected often looks erythematous as well as swollen.
  • In the extreme cases, pus can gather beneath the skin of the fold which is lateral.
  • If not treated, this infection can expand into the eponyshium and is called sponychia.
  • Additional expansion of the infection may lead to the association of both lateral folds as it trails beneath the nail sulcus; this is known as an infection runaround.
  • In cases which are severe, the infection can trail proximally under the skin of the finger as well as volarly to produce a concomitant felon. The fulminant purulence of the nail bed generates enough pressure to lift the nail off the nail bed.

Chronic paronychia symptoms as follows

  • Erythematous, swollen, as well as tender nail folds without fluctuance are a feature of persistent paronychia.
  • Finally, the nail plates develop into thick and discolored with transverse creases.
  • The cuticles as well as nail folds can split from the nail plate, forming a space for the incursion of various microorganisms.


The most important treatment for infections of fingers or nail bed infections is antibiotics as well as appropriate wound care. The appropriate care of these wounds varies for each of the many diverse infections. This usually ranges from an easy slit and draining of the wound to a far-reaching examination by surgery of the lesion in order to eliminate as much contaminated material as possible.

Several of these infections may be cared for as an outpatient but there is some that do require inpatient treatment as well as IV antibiotics. Because the organisms which cause these diseases are similar, several of the same kinds of antibiotics can be used.

For Paronychia, this wound can be cared for with wound care alone. If any pus is current, it needs to be drained. This can be done in many diverse ways. Normally, a scalpel is used to create a straightforward incision over the gathering of pus to permit drainage. Or the scalpel can be inserted along the edge of the nail in order to permit drainage. For large infections, a portion of the nail may need to be removed. The physician will place the patient on oral antibiotic and discuss home wound care.

Home Remedies

Since infections of the finger do have the possibility to become severe, home care is rather inadequate. A very small infection can be handled at home if the person has no other medical illness to cause complication, for instance diabetes. The majority of these infections need urgent treatment as well as evaluation by a physician. Since any postponement in treatment can result in disability or loss of a finger, the patient should not be indecisive about obtaining medical care.

A simple and small infection will most likely react well to regular warm water soaking and elevation of that hand. If the finger shows no improvement in 1 to 2 days, medical treatment is advised.

Fingernail Infection Pictures

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