Occasionally, your nails and cuticles can get swollen, inflamed and red; the medical terminology for an infection of the cuticle is paronychia and it is known to occur when the skin surrounding the fingernail is over cut and it gets infected.
When there is infection, the cuticle gets inflamed and painful and has pus filled blisters under the skin.
Cuticle infection is caused by bacteria, yeast or fungus. When there is a breach in the skin or in case of poor hygiene, the bacteria multiply and the nail bed gets infected. You may get a cut around the nail at the salon during a manicure; and this could trigger an infection.
Also, in case you work a lot in water you may develop an infection. Thus it is very vital that you keep your hands dry throughout the day.
Home Remedies To Treat Infected And Swollen Cuticle
The following guidelines and home-based remedies will help allay a swollen cuticle quickly:
- Ensure that you keep the area clean by washing it with soap and water; also, equally important is to keep the fingers dry after washing.
- White vinegar is an effective home remedy for swollen cuticles. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a small bowl. Dip the affected finger for 15 minutes. At first it may sting you, but it allays the infection quickly. White vinegar has anti-bacterial properties and will quickly help reduce the infection in the nails. Thereafter, apply an anti-bacterial lotion on the cuticle and cover up with a Band-Aid. Repeat soaking in vinegar daily until the infection clears up.
- In case, vinegar stings you, you could just apply an anti-bacterial ointment; make sure you keep the hands dry at least for an hour after applying the anti-bacterial. This ensures that the anti-bacterial works well.
- Tea tree essential oil is another wonderful remedy that works like magic for infection and swelling of the cuticles, clearing up the infection in almost 1 to 2 days. Apply neat tea tree oil to the swollen cuticle 5 to 10 times daily. Tea tree oil is very strong medicinal aroma oil that battles infection effectively. It is an efficient anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral; consequently being effective for practically all infections. It is also recommended that you add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to your cuticle oil as well as hand wash.
- Have a vitamin C tablet daily. Vitamin C boosts immune functioning and fights off infection rapidly. Talk to your doctor and start a supplement; also step up the intake of limes, lemons, oranges, mangoes and bell peppers, they are loaded with vitamin C.
- In case the infection does not clear in 7 days, then you need to consult your health care provider; he may advise oral anti-biotic.
- Also, ensure that you use your own manicuring set. You’d be surprised to know how many salons do not disinfect their tools in between clients. Also, if it isn’t necessary to cut the cuticles, then don’t, just gently push them back with a soft rubber tip. This reduces your risk of infections.