Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Fingernail Problems Overview

What are fingernail problems?
Most fingernail problems can be divided into two groups: infections and injuries. Common fingernail problems include paronychia, fungal nail infection, ingrown fingernail, and fingernail injury. A person with a fingernail injury has injured the fingernail or the skin that supports the fingernail. In some cases, the person may lose the fingernail completely. Most fingernail injuries will result in growth of a new nail within 3 months.

What are the symptoms of fingernail problems?
Symptoms of fingernail problems include finger pain, finger swelling, and skin redness adjacent the nail. Other symptoms include laceration, tearing of the fingernail, loss of the fingernail, and blood under the fingernail.

How does the doctor treat fingernail problems?
Treatment for fingernail problems depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include antibiotics or anti-fungal medications. Treatment for a fingernail injury may include wound cleansing and irrigation, pain medications, surgical repair, tetanus vaccination, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

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