Paronychia - Prevention
Infection - skin around the nail
To prevent paronychia:
- Care for the nails and the skin around the nails properly.
- Avoid damaging the nails or fingertips. Because the nails grow slowly, an injury can last for months.
- Do not bite or pick the nails.
- Protect the nails from exposure to detergents and chemicals by using protective rubber or plastic gloves, preferably with cotton liners.
- Bring your own manicure tools to nail salons.
To minimize the risk of damage to the nails:
- Keep the nails smooth and trim them weekly.
- Trim the toenails about once a month.
- Use sharp manicure scissors or clippers for trimming fingernails and toenails, and an emery board for smoothing the edges.
- Trim nails after bathing, when they are softer.
- Trim fingernails with a slightly rounded edge. Trim toenails straight across and don't cut them too short.
- Do not trim cuticles or use cuticle removers. Cuticle removers may damage the skin around the nail. Trimming the cuticle damages the skin at the base of the nail and allows an entry point for fungi (and bacteria), which can lead to infection.
- Reviewed last on: 5/13/2011
- Michael Lehrer, MD, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Nail Diseases. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 25.
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