FINGERNAIL
DISORDERS:

Paronychia concerns usually a mild bacterial infection where the nail plate meets the skin - nail fold/cuticle.

There are types of 'paronychia': acute paronychia (sudden onset) & chronic paronychia (gradual development).

Paronychia

 

What is paronychia?

Paronychia concerns a bacterial infection of the skin (cuticle or lateral fingernail fold) surrounding the fingernail or toenail – often caused by an ingrown nail. Along with gradual thickening + browning discoloration of the nail plate, pus is usually present under the skin.

What causes paronychia?

Regarding the cause of paronychia, the two most common causes are:

Pyogenic paronychia = inflammation of the folds of skin surrounding the nail caused by bacteria (NOTICE: acute paronychia is usually a pyogenic paronychia);

Candidal paronychia = inflammation of the nail fold produced by Candida albicans (NOTICE: chronic paronychia is often a candidal paronychia);

Runaround paronychia = inflammation around the entire nail.

What is the right treatment for paronychia?

In mild cases, an acute paronychia may disappear within a few days. A painful paronychia can be treated with self care at home (including: warm soaks, draining of pus). Severe cases of acute paronychia – should be treated with antibiotics (consultation with your doctor/general practitioner is then recommended).

MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF THIS FINGERNAIL DISORDER:
How to treat a paronychia nail disorder?

PHOTO – An example of a severce case of paronychia:

An example of a severce case of paronychia.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
The FINGERNAIL TUTOR: an online nail disorder identification tool!
4 Common nail diseases!
Koilonychia – causes + treatment of the ‘spoon nail’
Leukonychia – having ‘white spots’ on your fingernails (white nails)

Example of a normal lunula in a female thumb.

The lunula, or lunulae (a.k.a. the ‘nail moon’), is the crescent-shaped whitish area of the bed of a fingernail (or toenail). The lunula can also be described as the visible part of the nail matrix – which is the ‘root’ of the nail.

The lunula or the white ‘half moon’ at the base or proximal end of the fingernail is particularly smooth, flat and shiny. The whiteness of the lunula is still a matter of controversy but its absence – especialy when the lunula is not present in the first finger (thumb) – could be described as notable and important.

In certain chromosome abnormalities the lunula is absent, i.e., monosomia 4 and the lunulae may be diminished in trisomy 21 (= Down syndrome).

A technical description of the ‘lunuala’ from An Atlas of DISEASES OF THE NAIL:


“…the matrix is responsible for the majority of the nail plate substance. The proximal portion of the matrix lies beneath the nail folds and the distal curved edge can usually be seen through the nail plate as the white lunula.”

Example of a normal lunula in a male thumb.