How to Care for Your Child with Paronychia
This leaflet will provide you with information about Paronychia causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and home care advice.
What is Paronychia?
Paronychia is a skin infection that happens when germs get under the skin around the fingernails or toenails. This is likely to happen if your child:
- Push down or trim the skin at the base of the nail.
- Bite the nails.
- Suck the thumb or finger.
What are the symptoms of Paronychia?
- A pain, redness, swelling area around the nail
- Pus-filled blisters near the nail
How is Paronychia diagnosed?
The doctor will ask few questions about your child's health and examine your child. X-ray and blood tests are normally not required
How is Paronychia treated?
Paronychia usually goes away completely with simple intervention:
- Soak the finger or toe in warm water for 10–20 minutes, three times a day.
- If liquid drains from the Paronychia after soaking, gently wipe it away.
- Apply an ointment if your doctor recommended.
- Your doctor might give you antibiotics to treat the infection If the treatments you have tried on your own didn't help,
- If you have a pus-filled blister, the doctor may give a shot to numb your child toe or finger and use a needle or sharp tool to drain the blister.
Home care advice
To help prevent another infection:
- Remind your child to not bite nails or suck on the fingers.
- Keep your child's nails smooth and not too short. Trim them weekly (monthly for toenails)
When should I seek medical advice?
Seek medical advice if:
- The Paronychia gets worse.
- Your child gets a new pus-filled blister around the nail.
- Your child has a fever, vomiting (throwing up), or chills.
- There is increased swelling or pain of the finger or toe.