Home Health How to Treat an Infected Hangnail

How to Treat an Infected Hangnail


If you have an infected hangnail, you may be wondering what to do about it. This article will explain what a hangnail is, how to treat it, and what to do if the infection is too advanced. Also, we will discuss the risks associated with an untreated hangnail. Having a hangnail is no fun, but it doesn’t have to be a medical emergency. Follow the tips in this article to get the treatment you need.

 infected hangnailWhat is a hangnail?

While most people do not notice hangnails until they are fully developed, they are not as harmless as they seem. When hangnails become inflamed, the skin around the nail becomes red and tender. This irritant can also lead to infection if the hangnail is picked off with your finger or teeth. Therefore, it is important to know how to prevent this from happening.

If left untreated, an infected hangnail may spread to other parts of the nail fold and cause chronic paronychia. Chronic paronychia is an inflammatory disorder of the nail fold, characterized by inflammation that lasts longer than six weeks. People with circulation problems and jobs involving contact with chemicals may be more susceptible to this infection. Those with diabetes and immunocompromised conditions may also be at risk for it.

How to identify an infected hangnail

A painful hangnail will often require treatment. To reduce the infection and prevent it from recurring, soak the nail in warm water for about 15 minutes, two to four times a day. Also, you can use vitamin E oil to prevent it. These are just some of the most common tips to follow if you suffer from hangnail pain. But it is important to be aware of the risks associated with this treatment.

The symptoms of an infected hangnail vary, but generally involve a greenish discoloration in the nail bed and pain and tenderness. An infection may also develop further into the finger or nail, causing a change in color. If you’re unsure whether your hangnail is infected, it’s best to visit a doctor. He can prescribe antibiotics depending on the severity of the condition. A treatment plan should include anti-fungal medicines and a thick cream to prevent further infection.

How to treat an infected hangnail

Besides being a nuisance, hangnails can also lead to chronic paronychia, an inflammation of the skin fold around the nail. People with weakened immune systems or who have constant moisture on their hands or feet are more susceptible to hangnail infections. Several lifestyle changes can help prevent the formation of hangnails. Listed below are some of these lifestyle changes and how to treat an infected hangnail.

First, you need to identify the underlying infection. If you suspect a bacterial infection, visit a physician. A physician can make a diagnosis by simply looking at your hangnail and may take a sample of the pus for lab analysis. If there’s an infection, your doctor will probably prescribe an antibiotic, either oral or topical. Your doctor may also decide to drain the infected hangnail, which will remove the pus and relieve pressure on the affected area. After about five to seven days, the infection should disappear completely.

What happens if an infected hangnail isn’t treated

To treat an infected hangnail, you must first clean the affected area thoroughly. Use rubbing alcohol on the clipper. After you have cleaned the nail and the surrounding skin, cut off the hangnail. Apply a good-quality moisturizer to the area to soften it. You may also apply sterile nail clippers. Be careful when trimming the hangnail as the area contains tiny blood vessels and nerves. If you rip off the hangnail, you risk infected blood.

In some cases, untreated hangnail infections can lead to chronic paronychia. Chronic paronychia is an inflammatory disorder of the fold of skin around the nail. People with diabetes, eczema, or weak immune systems are at risk for this infection. The best treatment is to seek medical care if you notice a sign of pus or infection.

When to see your doctor

If you’re experiencing symptoms like redness, warmth, and swelling around the finger or toe, it’s time to see your doctor. Infected hangnails may be fungal or bacterial. Your doctor can prescribe an antifungal or bacterial antibiotic and may perform a drainage procedure to clear the infection. Sometimes, an infected hangnail may even develop into a pus-filled abscess, which may require professional treatment to drain the pus.

If your infection is mild or can be treated at home, you can try soaking the nail in warm water for at least 15 minutes. It’s best to repeat this procedure two to four times a day, and you should do this for at least fifteen minutes each time. Alternatively, you can use an over-the-counter painkiller to alleviate the pain and swelling. Ultimately, if you don’t find relief from home, you may need to see your doctor.

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