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Health Tip: Prevent a Finger Infection

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(HealthDay News) -- Paronychia is an infection of the skin around a fingernail that can be red, inflamed and occasionally produce pus.

Most cases can be treated at home, the Nemours Foundation says.

The infection typically emerges after the skin surrounding a nail is injured and allows germs to penetrate. Biting or sucking nails, clipping nails too short or even getting a manicure can trigger the infection.

Nemours suggests how to help prevent the problem:

  • Don't bite your nails or pick at the cuticle area around them.
  • Don't cut nails too short.
  • Don't push your cuticles back, trim them or use cuticle remover.
  • If you'll be washing a lot of dishes or if your hands will touch chemicals, wear rubber gloves.
  • If you have diabetes, make sure it is under control.
  • Keep your hands clean and dry.
  • If you get a manicure, consider bringing your own clippers, nail file and other tools.

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