Paronychia is a common condition that affects the skin surrounding the nails. It is characterized by inflammation, redness, and swelling of the affected area. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as abscess formation and even bone infections. Fortunately, there are quick and easy solutions that can help you treat paronychia effectively.
Here, we will explore some of the best ways to treat paronychia using natural remedies and over-the-counter medications. We also provide some expert tips on preventing its recurrence. So let’s dive in!
Before you start treating paronychia, it is important to understand what causes it in order to take appropriate measures for treatment.
What Is Paronychia?
Paronychia is an infection that occurs around the nail bed or cuticle. The infection can be acute or chronic depending on how long it has been present.
Causes of Paronychia
The most common cause of paronychia is injury or damage to the cuticle which makes it more prone to bacterial or fungal infections. Other factors include excessive exposure to moisture and engaging in activities where hands are frequently exposed to water.
Treating Paronychia with Natural Remedies
Treatment for paronychia usually depends on what caused it in the first place. There are several effective natural remedies available that offer relief from symptoms while promoting healing at home.
Warm Saltwater Soak
One simple yet effective way of treating paronychia involves soaking your finger for 10-15 minutes in warm saltwater solution . This remedy helps reduces inflammation and promotes quicker healing.
Tip: repeat this remedy twice daily until your symptoms improve.
Tea Tree Oil Application
Tea tree oil possesses powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help combat the infection causing paronychia. Dilute a drop of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil, apply it directly on affected area using cotton swab twice daily until symptoms improve.
Garlic has amazing antimicrobial properties that make it an effective natural remedy for treating paronychia. Crush a few cloves into paste and add equal amount of honey to form antibacterial mixture, then brush this mixture onto affected nail once or twice a day till you get better results.
Note: Thoroughly wash your hands after handling garlic as it may irritate your skin.
Keep Your Hands Dry
One effective way to prevent further aggravation is keeping your hand dry in order not to provide the growth medium for microorganisms that cause paronychia. You are advised to use hair dryer more often than wiping with towel.
Medications for Treating Paronychia
There are various over-the-counter medications available which work well when used properly and according to product instructions:
Topical antibiotics such as neosporin application will reduce inflammation caused by bacterial growth around nails while preventing their transmission between fingers. Rub small amount all over cuticles two times per day until healed.
Hydrocortisone creams act by reducing inflammation related swelling or redness around infected area thus aiding in management of mild-to-moderate paronychia cases without prescription medication usage even though long-term usage thereby possibility of side effects could be limited when compared with oral antifungals prescribed regimen.
Tip: these should only be used short term under advice from medical practitioner due to potential systemic side effects if absorbed through corticosteroid barrier into bloodstream leading to adrenal suppression or other related issues worsen conditioning instead.
Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some expert tips on how to prevent paronychia:
Avoid biting your nails
It is important to avoid biting your nails as it can introduce bacteria or fungi into the skin around your nails which can cause paronychia.
Use gloves and protective gear
When engaging in activities that expose hands to water, wear gloves or other protective gear. This will help prevent over exposure, recurrence of swelling or redness over time.
Q: Can I use tea tree oil undiluted on my infected cuticles?
A: No, undiluted tea tree oil can be very harsh on the skin and may even cause chemical burns. Always dilute it with a carrier oil before using it topically.
Q: Can soaking my hands in apple cider vinegar help treat paronychia?
A: There is no scientific evidence that suggests apple cider vinegar has any effect on treating paronychia. It’s best to stick with recommended treatments such as warm saltwater soaks and topical antibiotics.
Q: How long does it take for paronychia to heal?
A: Mild cases of acute paronychia generally resolve within a few days of treatment while severe cases could take several weeks depending on the severity of infection present; chronic duration if left untreated tends to linger longer than two months.
Paronychia is a painful yet common condition that affects many people around us but taking prompt care at onset helps minimize severity thereby easing process towards recovery period without causing complications over time while seeking medical attention when symptoms persist beyond boundary becomes necessary.
We hope this article helped you understand how paronychia occurs, various remedies for its treatment along with expert advice prevention mechanisms from experts perspective . If you found this useful, please share with others who may find it helpful too!