Caption =
DiseasesDB = 9663
ICD10 = ICD10|L|03|0|l|00
ICD9 = ICD9|681.02, ICD9|681.11
MedlinePlus = 001444
eMedicineSubj = derm
eMedicineTopic = 798
MeshID = D010304

The nail disease paronychia (commonly misidentified as a synonym for felon or whitlow, the latter two of which refer to a deep space infection of the distal end of a digit) is an often tender bacterial or fungal hand infection where the nail and skin meet at the side or the base of a finger or toenail. It can start suddenly (acute paronychia) or gradually (chronic paronychia).


Dr. Rob Hicks writes on the BBC website:

The cuticle acts as a protective seal but if it's damaged in any way bacteria can enter the skin and cause infection. These infections can be extremely painful as the skin becomes inflamed, hot, red and throbs continually.Cite web
title=Doctor's advice Q: Whitlow (paronychia)

Pus is usually present, along with gradual thickening and browning discoloration of the nail plate.

Hicks continues:

If a large amount of pus has collected, then it may be necessary to make a small cut in the skin (sometimes under local anaesthetic) to release it.cite web | author=Jacobs, J.R. | url= | title=Pathophysiology and Management of Paronychia | publisher=collegehealth-e | Issue=3 | date=2006 June-July | pp. 10–12]

Acute paronychia is usually caused by bacteria. This is often treated with antibiotics, sometimes as a cream, other times orally. Chronic paronychia is most often caused by a yeast infection of the soft tissues around the nail but can also be traced to a bacterial infection. If the infection goes on and on then a fungal infection is often the cause and this needs anti-fungal cream or paint to treat it.

Hicks writes further about the causes:

Whitlows are common, especially for people who have to repeatedly wash their hands. Excess water weakens the seal, while soaps and detergents remove the protective skin oils leaving the skin dry and more liable to split.

Most often, trauma to the cuticle allows infection in. Biting or picking at the cuticle, damage through work and overenthusiastic manicuring are the usual culprits.

If someone has a cold sore and puts their finger in their mouth then a herpes infection whitlow may appear.

Individuals who work with their hands in water, such as health care workers and food processors, are quite prone to the fungal type of infection.
Herpes whitlows are frequently found among dentists and dental hygienists.cite journal |author=Lewis MA |title=Herpes simplex virus: an occupational hazard in dentistry |journal=Int Dent J |volume=54 |issue=2 |pages=103–11 |year=2004 |pmid=15119801 |doi=10.2956/indj.2004.54.2.103 |url= |doi_brokendate=2008-08-12] Prosector's paronychia is a primary inoculation of tuberculosis of the skin and nails, named after its association with prosectors, who prepare specimens for dissection. Paronychia around the entire nail is sometimes referred to as "runaround paronychia".

Painful paronychia in association with a scaly, erathematous, keratotic rash (papules and plaques) of the ears, nose, fingers, and toes, may be indicative of acrokeratosis paraneoplastica, which is associated with squameous cell carcinoma of the larynx.cite web | title=eMedicine - Acrokeratosis Neoplastica | author= Karen Allen, MD | url= | date=2005-08-17 ]


External links

* [ "What Is The Best Way To Treat Paronychias?,] Roundtable discussion in "Podiatry Today," Volume 15 - Issue 3, March 2002, pp. 58-60.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paronychia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Paronychia P. argentea Clasificación científica …   Wikipedia Español

  • Paronychia — Par o*nych i*a, n. [L., fr. Gr. parwnychi a; para beside + o nyx, o nychos, a nail[1].] (Med.) A whitlow, or felon[3]. Quincy. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Paronychĭa — (P. Adams.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Caryophylleae Paronychieae Euparonychieae, 5. Kl. 1. Ordn. L.; Arten: Kräuter im südlichen Europa u. wärmeren Ländern, z.B. P. capitata …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Paronychĭa — (grch.), Entzündung, Wucherung und Vereiterung der den Nagelfalz bildenden Hautpartie …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • paronychia — (n.) 1590s, from Latin, from Gk. paronykhia, from para beside (see PARA (Cf. para )) + onyx nail (see NAIL (Cf. nail) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Paronychia — Cet article possède un paronyme, voir : Paronychie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Paronychia — Inflammation of the folds of tissue surrounding the nail due to infection. The infection may be bacterial (most commonly, staph or strep) or to fungal. The term paronychia is compounded from para , next to + the Greek onyx , nail = next to the… …   Medical dictionary

  • paronychia — whitlow; n. an inflamed swelling of the nail folds. Acute paronychia is usually caused by infection with Staphylococcus aureus. Chronic paronychia occurs mainly in those who habitually engage in wet work; it is associated with secondary infection …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • paronychia — paronychial, adj. /par euh nik ee euh/, n. Pathol. inflammation of the folds of skin bordering a nail of a finger or toe, usually characterized by infection and pus formation; felon. [1590 1600; < L paronychia < Gk paronychía whitlow, equiv. to… …   Universalium

  • paronychia — par•o•nych•i•a [[t]ˌpær əˈnɪk i ə[/t]] n. pat inflammation of the folds of skin bordering a nail of a finger or toe; felon • Etymology: 1590–1600; < L parōnychia < Gk parōnychía whitlow =par par +onych (s. of ónyx) claw, nail + ia ia par… …   From formal English to slang

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