What medications are there for paronychia?
Paronychia is often treated with fusidic acid, a topical antibiotic that’s commonly used to clear up skin and eye infections. It’s also available as an oral treatment, either as a tablet or liquid, or as an injection. But a topical cream or ointment is far more common for mild skin infections like paronychia.
Fusidic acid is only available with a prescription, so you’ll need a diagnosis and prescription from our clinician before you can use it as a treatment.
Is there a ‘best’ treatment for paronychia?
Fusidic acid is one of the most common treatments for paronychia, as it’s usually quite effective and well-tolerated. But along with this, you’ll still need to practice good hygiene and try to keep the infected area clean, dry and free from irritation.
If your paronychia is painful or causing you discomfort, over-the-counter pain relief like paracetamol can help. It’s also best not to bother your nail or skin too much and to remove any artificial nails if you’re wearing them.
If there’s a lot of pus, an abcess, or a severe infection, then your clinician may recommend that it’s drained before treating it. This involves making a small incision to release the pus from the inflamed area. This can also provide relief from some of the pain and swelling.
Does paronychia always need treatment?
When paronychia is very mild, it can sometimes go away on its own (especially if you’re taking steps to help it heal) but this usually means you’ll experience some pain and discomfort.
There’s always the risk of the infection becoming more severe or lasting a long time. This can lead to damage to your skin and bones, and if you have other health conditions it can become more serious.
If your infection is severe or lasts a long time, you may need antibiotics to prevent it from spreading and recurring. Paronychia can lead to stronger infections that can be really bad for your health.