Looking for Cure Paronychia? Here Is All You Have to Know

Updated on March 11th, 2020
Paronychia treatment at home

Paronychia is a skin infection that develops around the fingernails and toenails. It usually happens when some bacteria or fungi manage to get under the skin and come in contact with the nail from beneath. It develops at the cuticles or on the sides of the nail.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information(1) proclaims that there are two kinds of paronychia, acute and chronic. Acute paronychia comes suddenly and does not last for long. It can be treated easily as the infection does not spread deep into the fingers, whereas chronic paronychia lasts for six weeks or longer as the irritant breaches the nail barrier.

Studies say that it can happen at any age, and the symptoms include swelling or hardening of the nail, pus-filled blisters, etc. Clipping the nails too short, chewing of the nails, and ingrown nails are some of the other factors that cause paronychia.

Remedies for Paronychia Treatment at Home

CURE 1: Home Remedies

1. Warm Water

warm water

The majority of acute paronychia cases can be treated by soaking the affected nail in warm water. Warm water reduces toxins and helps combat bacterial infection. It also helps reduce discomfort and pain.

How to Use?

  • Fill a bowl with warm water and soak the affected area in it for 15-20 minutes.
  • Make sure the water is warm and not very hot.

How Much to Use?

  • Do this four times a day to control the symptoms.

2. Saline Solution

Saline solution is a perfect remedy to treat broken skin or cut due to paronychia. Studies(2) prove that Epsom salt heals the broken skin and also relieves the pain and pressure from the infection. Additionally, it also dries the pus in sores, if any.

How to Use?

  • Mix 2 spoons of unsalted Epsom salts in half a bucket of water and soak the infected area for 15-20 minutes.

How Much to Use?

  • Do this 4 times a day to see the desired results.

3. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly

The American Academy of Dermatology(3) recommends the usage of it for all kinds of skin conditions and nail infections. Studies confirm that petroleum jelly acts as a barrier, and the skin cannot absorb it quickly. Applying it to the aggravated area soothes it, and also promotes healing.

How to Use and How Much?

  • Apply some petroleum jelly and cover it with a bandage.
  • Change the bandage when it gets wet.
  • Keep applying it at regular intervals throughout the day.

CURE 2: Herbal Remedies

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties. These properties of aloe vera make it a perfect remedy for treating paronychia. The National Center for Biotechnology Information(4) reports that the presence of glucomannan and gibberellin in aloe vera promotes its healing properties.

How to Use?

  • You can use fresh aloe vera or the gel available in the market.
  • Apply it directly on the affected area and leave for 30 minutes.
  • Then wash it water warm water.

How Much to Use?

  • Do this four times a day to treat paronychia.

2. Honey


The National Center for Biotechnology Information(5) states that the high sugar content in honey is beneficial for treating infections and wounds. The osmotic effect of honey prevents the growth of bacteria.

Honey is also said to have an acidic pH between 3.2 and 4.5, which allows the blood to release more oxygen and heal the wound.

How to Use and How Much?

  • Clean your hands properly before applying honey.
  • Use cotton tips to apply to the affected area.
  • Let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
  • Apply it twice a day to see the desired results.

3. ACV

ACV is a popular home remedy and is used widely for many medical conditions and diseases. Research states that the acidic content in the vinegar kills harmful microorganisms when applied to the affected area. Further, it also helps bring down swelling.

How to Use and How Much?

  • Do not apply it directly to the aggravated area.
  • Mix it with some water before application.
  • Soak your nails in it for 20 minutes before rinsing with water.
  • Do this twice a day to see the best results.

CURE 3: Essential Oils

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Studies confirm that consistent use of tea tree oil for nail infections controls symptoms and avoids recurring of the condition. The antiseptic and antifungal characteristics of tea tree oil bring down the swelling and also prevent the spreading of the infection.

How to Use?

  • Tea tree oil should be used with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil.
  • Dilute some tea tree oil in coconut oil and apply it to the aggravated area for 30 minutes.

 How Much to Use?

  • Do this twice a day to treat paronychia effectively.

[Read: Tea Tree Oil Benefits ]

2. Chamomile Oil

Studies report that the active elements found in chamomile oil repairs the skin and inhibits the spread of infection. Due to its anti-inflammatory and calming properties, it eliminates toxins and works quickly to heal a wound.

How to Use?

  • It can be directly applied to the affected area.
  • Leave it for 20 minutes before washing.
  • It is also very effective when used in combination with lavender oil.

How Much to Use?

  • Apply it twice a day to alleviate the symptoms.

[Read: Chamomile Oil Benefits ]

3. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil

Studies confirm that the compounds Pinene and Sabinene present in eucalyptus oil are rich in antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. When applied to the aggravated area, the oil limits the microbial proliferation along with eliminating the spread of the infection. Additionally, it also supports the blood circulation to the brains curing stress and anxiety, if any.

How to Use?

  • You can apply eucalyptus oil directly on the affected nails.
  • It can also be used in other forms like gels, lotions, soaps, etc.
  • Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing.

How Much to Use?

  • Use it thrice a day to achieve desired results.

[ Read: Eucalyptus Oil Benefits ]

Prevention Tips

The duration of paronychia depends upon the type of paronychia and also the treatment it gets. However, to keep yourself from developing it, again and again, you can follow some simple but useful tips.

  • Use rubber gloves while cleaning.
  • Avoid cutting your cuticles while getting manicures and pedicures.
  • Do not bite your nails.
  • Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

Bottom Line

Paronychia is a common condition that could be effect a person due to various health or environmental conditions. However, the remedies mentioned above can help in both preventing and treating paronychia.


1. Can paronychia make you sick?

Sometimes, medicine for the treatment of paronychia can result in symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting, etc.

2. Can paronychia spread to other nails?

Yes, chronic paronychia can spread to other nails.

3. Can paronychia be treated at home?

Yes, with simple home remedies like warm compress, saline solution, essential oil usage, etc.

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