Paronychia

Paronychia is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Basics

Description

  • Disruption of the seal between the nail plate and the nail fold may allow entry of bacteria into the eponychial space.
  • Inflammation of the nail folds surrounding the nail plate

Etiology

  • Acute paronychia: Predominantly Staphylococcus aureus but also streptococci, Pseudomonas, and anaerobes
  • Chronic paronychia: Multifactorial due to allergens and irritants in addition to fungal etiologies, predominantly Candida albicans, which commonly coexist with Staphylococcus species

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