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Paronychia (Nail Infection) (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care for a Paronychia

You should call your doctor if the redness extends beyond the skin around your nail or to the pad of the finger. This redness shows that the infection might be forming a more serious finger infection with pus formation of the deep tissues of your fingertip, called a felon.

You should also call your doctor if an abscess is forming. An abscess requires drainage by a doctor. Opening (or incising) an abscess to drain the pus should not be attempted at home.

At the first sign of pus collection, you should seek medical attention for possible drainage. If you notice that the swelling and redness has extended down your finger or you are unable to move the joints of the affected finger, you need to go to a hospital's emergency department immediately. This condition may or may not be associated with fever or chills, indicating a serious infection.

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Paronychia »

A paronychia is a superficial infection of epithelium lateral to the nail plate.

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