Acute Paronychia

Serving Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas

Acute Paronychia:

  • Is an infection of the skin around the nail with the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus
  • Is often associated with damage to the nail cuticle
  • Damage to the cuticle may occur if the cuticles are trimmed, pushed back
  • Cuticles also become damaged if the hands are in water repeatedly, or if artificial nails are worn
  • Bacteria enters the opening between the skin and the nail and produces an infection
  • The skin is often red, swollen and tender around the nail
  • Often, there is pus coming out around the nail


  • Avoid contact with water
  • Wear gloves whenever your hands are in water or if you are doing wet work (laundry, cutting up foods, etc.)
  • Do not push back or trim your cuticles
  • An antibiotic cream can be applied to the skin around the nail twice daily
  • Antibiotic pills are sometimes required to treat the infection, if it is severe