What is a fingernail infection?
Fingernail infections occur on or near the edge of the nail. Most of the time, fingernail infections are not serious but they can be painful. This type of infection can also form on the toenails.
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms may include:
- Swelling where the finger meets the nail
- Redness and mild tenderness surrounding the infected area
- A blister filled with pus or pus draining from the swollen area
Fingernail infections are caused by bacteria entering the skin around the nail. Nail biting, ingrown nails, and finger sucking can cause the skin to break, allowing bacteria to enter. Also, pushing the cuticle down or trimming the cuticle (which is usually done as part of a manicure) can also lead to infection.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your child's doctor if:
- your child develops a fever.
- the infection has not cleared after four or five days.
- the area of redness or swelling is getting bigger.
- the area is hot and painful.
- Nail infections can occur on the hands and the feet.
- Nail biting and finger sucking can cause the skin to break, allowing bacteria to enter.
- Symptoms include swelling, redness, and tenderness of the area where the nail meets the tissue of the finger.
- Clean the infection three times a day with warm water and an antibacterial soap.
- If the infection has not cleared after four or five days, seek medical attention.