Acute and Chronic Paronychia

  • Adam I. RubinEmail author
  • C. Ralph DanielIII


Paronychia refers to the inflammation and/or infection of the nail folds. It occurs in to forms commonly: acute paronychia and chronic paronychia. Both forms are caused by a disruption of the normal seals of the nail apparatus. The disruption of the seals in the nail apparatus is commonly caused by irritants, contactants, as wells as repetitive trauma from manicures. Acute paronychia often demonstrates a distinct collection of pus or abscess formation within a nail fold. The most common cause of acute paronychia is Staphylococcus aureus. It may also be caused by other organisms including methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Chronic paronychia refers to paronychia that lasts more than 6 weeks. The treatments for acute and chronic paronychia are distinct. Chronic paronychia is considered to be an inflammatory process, although there can be secondary colonization by Candida and hypersensitivity to Candida may play a role in persistence and exacerbation of the process.


Paronychia Acute paronychia Chronic paronychia Finger sucking Nail biting Onychophagia Onychotillomania Staphylococcus aureus Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA Hangnail Candida Incision and drainage Nail soaks Soaks Eponychial marsupialization Marsupialization En block removal of nail fold Swiss roll technique 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyHospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Mississippi Medical Center, Dermatology & Surgery of the SkinJacksonUSA

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