Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Nail Infection Underlying Cause

A paronychia is caused by an infection with bacteria that are normally on the surface of the skin.

Steps that lead to the infection include:

  • The nail causes a small injury to the skin
  • The bacteria enter the tissue beneath the skin surface
  • The bacteria start to grow, causing an infection, swelling and pain

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Nail Infection References
  1. Daniel CR 3rd, Daniel MP, Daniel CM, Sullivan S, Ellis G. Chronic paronychia and onycholysis: a thirteen-year experience. Cutis. 1996 Dec;58(6):397-401. [8970776]
  2. Rockwell PG. Acute and chronic paronychia. Am Fam Physician. 2001 Mar 15;63(6):1113-6. [11277548]
  3. Tosti A, Piraccini BM, Ghetti E, Colombo MD. Topical steroids versus systemic antifungals in the treatment of chronic paronychia: an open, randomized double-blind and double dummy study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Jul;47(1):73-6. [12077585]
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