Whitlow Vs Paronychia: The difference between Whitlow and Paronychia.

Most people (including health care providers) mistake usually PARONYCHIA and WHITLOW nail infections (My colleague, a Pharmacist also make this mistake) BUT it isn’t. Though they are both nail bed infections and they look alike clinically, there is are huge differences between whitlow and paronychia in areas of

Whitlow Vs Paronychia: The difference between Whitlow and Paronychia
Left image is whitlow
Right image is Paranychia with a discharging pus.

DIFFERENCE between Whitlow and Parochynia

WHITLOW is a contagious infection that forms lesions on a finger. Usually very PAINFUL. It is caused by the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS, of which there are 2 types, HSV-1 and HSV-2, of which 60% of whitlow cases are caused by 1, and type 2 is responsible for the rest of the remaining whitlow infections.

Infection occurs on the toes or on the nail cuticle atimes. Whitlow will usually have clear blisters, while paronychia may sometimes have pus in them
People who work with their hands in wet environments are more likely to get paronychia, while whitlow is caused by touching an infected sore or blister

Paronychia can occur after a finger injury

TREATMENT OF WHITLOW involves certain Topical or oral Antiviral medication (like acyclovir) and NSAIDs (ibuprofen, diclofenac, felvin). Whitlow can be intensely painful, but fortunately, it occurs just once in many people who get infected.

If you have whitlow of the fingers:
Don’t touch that finger
Don’t touch other parts of your body or other people so you don’t infect others too. It is highly contagious
Don’t wear contact lenses, the infection can spread to your eyes and cause conjunctivitis.
Always cover it


#PAROCHYNIA on the other hand is a bacterial or fungal nail infection of the hand or foot, where d NAIL and SKIN meet at the side or the base of a finger or toenail.
Parochynia infection can either be Acute OR Chronic.

ACUTE Parochynia is a BACTERIA INFECTION and usually last less than 6 Weeks whereas

CHRONIC Parochynia is a FUNGAL INFECTION (plus bacteria atimes especially staphylococcus) that usually last for more than 6 weeks.

They usually occur from dish washing, certain injuries, HANGnail biting, finger sucking, an INGROWN nail, or MANICURE procedures.

DIAGNOSIS involves taking samples of the PUS from the the infection to the lab to determine the exact infecting agent b4 prescribing the best Meds.

TREATMENT OF PARONYCHIA involves : Incision & Drainage with Certain Oral and Topical Antibiotics/Antifungal, Pain pill & Vitamins which your Pharmacist or Health Care Providers will recommend.

STOP! assumimg you have a certain infection ailment WHEREAS it’s another

Certain ailments/infections REASSEMBLE each other, hence it’s the job of the Doctor to detect such.

#FOR_INSTANCE : Whitlow looks exactly Like Parochynia but it’s a Viral infection. Using Antibiotics or Antifungal medication on it won’t treat it.

It may only heal up because it’s SELF LIMITING.

Always CONSULT YOUR Healthcare providers if you have any Health ailments.


Chief Pharmacist


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