Having an infected cuticle should be taken seriously because it is not a joke! Infections can range from mild to severe, so you should always identify what you are dealing with and know how to prevent it from happening ever again.
What is an Infected Cuticle?
This infection is called paronychia and is caused by bacteria, yeast, or fungus. It will occur if the skin around your fingernails is terribly cut or cut too deeply, so it becomes infected with staph bacteria. That is just one of the possible and most common reasons. The infection becomes red and super painful with a blister underneath the skin. It doesn’t look pretty whatsoever and it might even spread.
In some extreme, but rare cases, it can even lead to the loss of a finger! However, don’t panic, those are some quite rare cases.
Causes of an Infected Cuticle
If your immune system is weak you are more likely to be affected by this fungi. Also, if you’ve been at a lousy salon where they didn’t cut your cuticles properly, you might be in trouble, and you might want to switch up your salon the next time you go. Any of these occasions might cause fungi infection. If you’re not sure if you have it or not, just research paronychia and see what it looks like. If you’re still not sure, go for a checkup to your local doctor.
Curing an Infected Cuticle
Most of the time antibiotics are the best way to go but there are also some natural and home remedies for smaller and minor infections.
Natural and Home Treatments
One of the best natural remedies is to soak your fingers in warm water three times per day. You could also use vinegar, oregano oil, or tea tree oil and soak your nails with Epsom salt. The best oil to go for is tea tree oil as this will get rid of the infection the fastest.
Antibiotics and Other Treatments
The most common and used antibiotic for an infected cuticle is Neosporin, so if you’re prescribed it make sure you finish your course. Also, some pharmacies might give you Mupirocin, which is an ointment for your infected area. You should use this on your infected area for 30 minutes and you should repeat this process two times per day for one week. Another treatment which is a lot easier to get at the pharmacies and which is made for mild infections is Ibuprofen. It can reduce the pain in case you are experiencing any.
Preventing Infected Cuticles
In case of acute Paronychia, it is caused by any minor trauma that made the cuticle red and infected. The best way to prevent them is by taking great care of your nails. Don’t cut the cuticles on your own and never cut your nails too short! Your nail technician should cut them for you, once a month or even less. Also, make sure that you don’t bite or chop your nails as well as your gel manicures, this way you are exposing your skin to a wide range of other infections.
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Another tip is to bring your own scissors to the salon. This way you will be sure that they are clean and safe to use. There are some women that don’t like to cut their cuticles since they don’t see the point. If you’re one of them and you think that you can pull it off, don’t cut them. Just push them back with any soft rubber tip or ask the nail lady to do it for you.
Worst Case Scenario: Chronic Paronychia
If you have a bigger problem and a persistent inflammation that comes and goes then you might have chronic paronychia. This one is caused by fungus, irritations, or allergies! People who have this infection are most of the time exposed to chemicals and are constantly working with water, such as hairdressers and cleaners. In this case, you should always keep your hands as dry as possible and wear rubber gloves in order to tone down the exposure level.
Preventing Chronic Paronychia
If you want to be completely safe and sound make sure you follow these 4 steps, always!
1. Always, always keep your hands clean by washing them with soap and warm water.
2. In order to prevent it altogether, get the white vinegar and mix it with water in a small bowl. Now and then soak your fingers in this paste for about 15 minutes.
3. Take care of your immune system. Avoid getting sick if possible. Taking vitamins is a must if you want to have infection-free, long and strong nails, and an entire body in general!
Taking proper care of your self and your body will lead to strong, infection-free nails that every girl wants! If you follow these rules, you will never be afraid of paronychia and other awful nail and cuticle infections.