Paronychia Causes, Symptoms, and Ayurvedic Management


Paronychia is an infectious disease which commonly affects fingers of hands. It is also known as nail infection. It results due to damage to the protective layer between nail and nail fold. Commonly it occurs due to bacterial infection which enters through any cuts or wounds. Paronychia usually does not cause any serious health problems but it may cause discomfort. It may remain for long term and its recurrence rate is high. If there is high recurrence it leads to chronic paronychia caused by occupational and environmental exposure. Later on it may lead to collection of pus and form abscess which is a very painful condition. Paronychia is more common in females than males (middle aged females) and people having prolonged use of water. Usually the prognosis of this disease is good as the acute condition resolves in a few days and chronic in a few months. Most commonly it is caused from “staph” infections. In this article we will discuss about symptoms, causes, diagnosis of paronychia with its management according to classical Ayurveda texts.



Paronychia is an inflammatory condition of the nail (finger nails, toe nails) which results due to any infection or trauma. In this condition bacteria enters through any broken skin near nails and affects cuticle and nail folds. Paronychia is common in people who are exposed to some irritants, chemicals; habit of nail biting or picking cuticles; skin infections; bartenders; housekeepers; dishwashers, etc. It is a very spontaneous condition and the most common infection of the hand. Usually it is limited to one nail but it can affect many nails also. It can be classified into acute and chronic paronychia as the acute condition lasts less than six weeks due to bacterial invasion and in chronic conditions there is mechanical or chemical cause. It is skin infection usually begins with pain, redness and swelling which later ends into pus filled pockets. Based on severity of infection it may lead to nail dystrophy. Once skin gets irritated germs can enter and cause infection. This condition can be managed by hot water soaking, antibiotics or antifungal medications (oral or local application).


As paronychia is an infectious condition which arises due to bacterial invasion. Most commonly Staphylococcus aureus bacteria causes this infection, other bacteria can also invade skin infections such as Staphylococcus pyogenes. Sometimes viral and fungal infections can be the cause of paronychia. The reasons through which bacteria can enter into skin are as following

  • Cuts / broken skin
  • Wounds
  • Trauma to nail bed/ manipulation
  • Nail biting habit
  • Accidents
  • Frequent manicures or pedicures
  • Bad hygiene
  • Excessive use of chemicals
  • Overuse of water
  • Drug induced
  • Diseases like diabetes, HIV, etc.


The sign and symptoms of paronychia are as follows

  • Pain around nails
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Reddish skin
  • Raised temperature of site
  • Pus filled abscess (yellow/ white)
  • Dry and brittle nails
  • Yellow or greenish nails
  • Distorted nail plates
  • Cuticle breakdown


The preventive measures to protect from paronychia are as follows

  • Good hygiene
  • Dry hands
  • Warm hands
  • Wearing gloves
  • Avoid nail biting
  • Avoid frequent washing hands
  • Restrict use of chemicals or irritants
  • Use clean nail cutters, scissors
  • Avoid cutting nails too short
  • Don’t trim cuticles


Particularly there is no proper test to diagnose paronychia but some of diagnostic methods are given as following

  • In Ayurveda darshan, prashan and sparshan is done.
  • Clinical examination
  • Medical history
  • Culture tissue
  • Imaging
  • According to symptoms


Usually paronychia can be easily managed but on severity we have to take medications. The basic management of paronychia is as given following

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Antiseptic solutions
  • Hot water soaking
  • Topical antibiotic ointment
  • I&D (incision and drainage)
  • Surgical intervention


According to Ayurveda, paronychia can be correlated with “chippa”/ “kunakha”. The word ‘kunakha’ is made of ‘ku’+ ‘nakha’= bad nails. In classics kunakha is mentioned under ‘kshudra roga’ which are forty four in number. Among all three doshas there is pre dominance of pitta and vata dosha. The cause behind this disease in Ayurveda is also trauma (abhighat). Some of clinical features mentioned in texts are as follows- (Ref.Su.Ni.13/20, 21)-

  • Pain in nail bed (vedna)
  • Burning sensation ( daah, paak)
  • Dryness (rukash)
  • Hardness ( khara)
  • Blackish discoloration (asit)

Management according to classics- (Ref.Su.Ch.20/10, 11)

  • Hot water soaking (ushan jaal seka)
  • Local application of chaker tail (oil)
  • Hot oil application
  • Bloodletting
  • Shoothhar medicine (anti-inflammatory)
  • Shoolhar medicine ( analgesics)


Planet Ayurveda is a wide range of herbal manufacturing units which produce all natural and herbal products. It is well certified and authorized. All the products manufactured here are authentic, free from all chemicals, preservatives, starch, color, yeast, etc. The herbal medicines prepared here are under expert supervision. The best combination of drugs which is trustworthy and leading to the benefits for paronychia by planet Ayurveda are as following

  1. Kaishore guggul
  2. Septrin tablets
  3. Dashang lepa, kustha rakshas tel, jatyadi tailam


1. Kaishore guggul

It is a standardized classical tablet formulation prepared from extract of triphala (amlaki- Emblica officinalis, haritaki-Terminalia chebula, and bibhitaki- Terminalia bellirica), guggul (Commiphora mukul) and guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia). These tablets purify blood and remove all toxins from the body. It has anti-inflammatory properties and heals skin wounds, ulcers. It eliminates metabolic toxins from cells and cleanses arteries. It also helps in boosting our immune system.

Dosage- Two tablets twice daily with plain water after meals.

2. Septrin tablets

It is a standardized tablet formulation prepared from extract of guggul (Commiphora mukul), haldi (Curcuma longa), tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and ginger (zingiber officinale). These tablets regulate and balance all three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) and regulate our immune system. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It treats any type of chest infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. It kills bacterias present in lungs, throat, urinary tract, skin, etc.

Dosage- Two tablets twice daily with plain water after meals.

3. Dashang lepa, kustha rakshas tel, jatyadi tailam

Dashang lepa is mixed with kustha rakshar oil and jatyadi oil. These oils are classical poly herbal formulations prepared from extract of kustha (Saussurea lappa), Saptaparna (Alstonia scholaris), jasmine flower, neem (Azadirachta indica) and beeswax. It eliminates pain, inflammation and swelling. It corrects edema, wounds and skin diseases like eczema, herpes, heat rashes, etc. It removes all the toxins present in skin.

Method- Local application of lepa mixed with oils applied on affected areas.

Contact Planet Ayurveda Support Team to provide you the costing / ordering and delivery information at – or Call at 0172-521-4030 (India), +91-172-521-4030 (Outside India) or Whatsapp at (+91) 9915-593-604


Paronychia is an infection of tissue adjacent to nails (finger or toes). It is a painful and purulent nail infection due to bacterial invasion. This condition can be cured easily in its initial stage as later on it causes more pain. So you can follow the above combination of medication for paronychia as it is very effective if any severity you must concern physicians.

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.