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Paronychia is a term that describes a skin infection in the area of the finger or toenails. Both bacteria and yeast cause the infection or inflammation, and sometimes both of them contribute to this problem. It is usually easy to identify and treat this infection. Paronychia comes in mild or severe forms. The milder version may last for just a day or so, but severe outbreaks could continue for a number of works. If it is not appropriately treated severe paronychia sometimes leads to nail loss. In most cases, doctors instantly identify the infection after examining the infected finger or toe. Sometimes they might decide to send a pus sample to the laboratory to confirm their diagnosis.

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1. Changes in the Appearance of the Finger or Toenail

These changes in the appearance of the nail and the skin around it make spotting this infection easy. Expect to notice that the skin has become red and it feels very tender. The infection also alters the shape and coloring of the nail. The nail might become detached from the skin in the most chronic cases. These symptoms appear in both the mild and severe forms of the infection. The key difference between them occurs in the speed with which the infection develops and how long it lasts. It comes on slowly and lasts for weeks in severe (chronic) instances, but in the milder (acute) version it quickly comes and goes.

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