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Acute paronychia: an acute inflammation & swelling in the tissue surrounding a fingernail. Paronychia may be acute or chronic. The acute form usually results from infection by staphylococci bacteria, though streptococci and various anaerobes may also be responsible. Chronic paronychia is usually caused by the yeast Candida albicans, although it can occur in psoriasis in which this skin disease affects the nail fold. Paronychia occurs most commonly in women who have poor circulation and whose work involves frequent contact with water. Following treatment with antifungal drugs or anti- biotic drugs, it is important to keep the hands as dry as possible.
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