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A paronychia is a swelling of the finger just below the nail. The tissue adjacent to the nail becomes red, swollen, and tender to the touch.
Many cases are associated with yeast infection.
Paronychias are more common in women and frequently afflict persons who have their hands in and out of water, such as homemakers, bartenders, and hairdressers. No treatment will be 100 percent effective unless the affected site is kept absolutely dry. In other words, avoidance of moisture and irritants is usually necessary for complete cure. If wet work cannot be curtailed, gloves should be worn to protect the hands. Cuticles should not be unduly manipulated, and nail cosmetics are best avoided. Medical treatment consists of the application of antibacterial, anti-yeast, and anti-inflammatory creams or solutions three to four times daily.