Dermatology Expert Forum
Finger / Skin-Nail Infection
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Finger / Skin-Nail Infection

I have a puffey tender area on the side of my fingernail where the skin meets the cuticle - cuticle area.  It secretes a yellowish stickey substance where the cuticle and nail meet.  The nail is fine. There is no discoleration or change in texture of the nail, just the skin next to it which is puffey and slightly tender.  I went to the doctor for this condition a while back and I thought it was a bactarial infection because of the secretion which looked to me like puss but she said it was a fungal infection that was not so common and she called it something like pernickia (I think, I can't remember).  Any way she perscribed this liquid topical medication that worked well and made the infection go away.  There was enough of the medicine left that when the infection cropped up a couple of times afterward I just used it and it worked fine to clear up the problem.  The doctor that correctly diagnosed the infection has since left the clinic that I go to and since then I went to see a new doctor with an earlobe infection due to pierced ear earrings.  When I saw the doctor about my earlobe infection I told him about the fingernail infection and brought the bottle of prescribed medicine to show him what was prescribed for my previous infection.  He thought my earlobe problem was something other than what had infected my finger and he promptly threw out the bottle of fungus medicine.  Now the infection is back on one of my fingers and I can't remember what the name of the infection is and I certainly don't know what the treatment was for the infection.  I do remember when I went to get the prescription filled, the pharmacist on duty had the more experienced pharmacist make the compound that was prescribed because he was unfamiliar with this compound.  I do remember that the medicine had an eucalyptus smell and the doctor told me that when I applied it to try to get it in between the nail and under the cuticle.  To apply the medicine, I used a wooden cuticle pusher with cotten wrapped around it then soaked the cotten in the medicine and applied it between the cuticle and nail.  Do you know what this infection might be and what the medicine that was perscribed was.  I would like to know the name of the infection and I would also like to be able to give my doctor some information when I go to see with my present finger infection incase this is something he has not ecountered before.  I think it is always good to get and have as much information as possible to make sure of a proper diagnosis.  Thanks for your help.
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What you have sounds like paronychia, which means inflammation of the skin around the nail.  Yeats are often involved.  I would guess that what the first doctor gave you was thymol in chloroform, an old-fashioned remedy for this.  You can have your doctor order this, or you can use a pre-mixed cream like clotrimazole 1% (over-the-counter) or one of its prescription-strength relatives.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
3 Comments
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I saw an earlier thread about skin peeling.  My 16 year old son started about a month ago with his fingers peeling - it has now moved down to his wrist.  He has no red spots or other inflamation (inflammation).  

His doctor had told his father about three weeks ago that if the peeling started on his feet or toes there would be a need for concern.  My son pointed out his feet to me yesterday - that he now has mild peeling at the end of his toes.

I had seen some symptoms for peeling skin that could possibly point to Leukemia or Hodgkins - he has none of these other symptoms like the bruising, fatigue, red spots, fevers etc.  Is this something I should be highly concerned about - or should I just get him back into his doctor and not really be so worried?

t
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my daughter has bumps/wholes on her nails,anyone know what this might be.shes had this about 6months had her tyroid checked/it was fine.
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A related discussion, What is Paronychia was started.
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