Polish and Pearls

How To Treat An Infected Hangnail

A hangnail is a common occurrence, but when they become infected, they can be painful. Infected hangnails are often red, swollen, and sore. They can also be warm to the touch. If you have an infected hangnail, you may need antibiotics to clear the infection.

how to treat an infected hangnail

Symptoms of Infected Hangnails

An infected hangnail is a common condition that can occur when the skin around your fingernails is cut or torn. The area around the nail can become red, swollen, and painful.

You may also see pus drainage and experience a fever if you have an infection. If you have an infected hangnail, you should see your doctor for treatment. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and/or surgery to remove the infected tissue.

What Happens if You Don’t Treat Infected Hangnails

If you have a hangnail, it’s important to treat it right away. Not doing so can cause the infection to worsen and spread to other parts of your hand or even your arm.

Untreated infections can lead to skin abscesses, cellulitis, and even sepsis.

Skin Abscesses

Hangnails can be caused by biting or picking at the skin, or by dry skin. When a hangnail is bitten or picked at, it can cause an infection in the skin called a skin abscess. A skin abscess is a pus-filled bump on the skin that can be painful and swollen. If you have a hangnail and it becomes infected, you may need to see a doctor to get antibiotics to treat the infection.


Hangnails are common and can be caused by a number of things, such as dry skin, picking at your nails, or using harsh chemicals. While they may not seem like a big deal, hangnails can actually cause cellulitis, a serious infection that can lead to hospitalization.

If you have a hangnail, make sure to keep it clean and dry. If it starts to look red or swollen, see your doctor right away. Cellulitis is a serious infection that requires antibiotics to treat, so it’s important to get help if you think you may have it.


Hangnails can cause Sepsis. If you have a hangnail, be sure to keep it clean and dry. If the hangnail becomes infected, you may develop sepsis. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that can result in organ failure and death. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately: fever, chills, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, confusion, excessive sweating, or swelling.

Prevention of Infected Hangnails

Around half of all hangnails will become infected, so it’s important to know how to prevent them from getting infected in the first place. Infected hangnails can be incredibly painful and may even require antibiotics if they become infected.

One of the best ways to prevent a hangnail from becoming infected is to keep your hands clean. Make sure you wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your nails as much as possible. If you do have to touch your nails, make sure you wash your hands immediately afterwards.

Another way to prevent infection is to apply a topical antibiotic ointment or cream to the hangnail. This will help keep the area clean and free of bacteria. You can also use a bandage or wrap to keep the area protected and free from dirt and bacteria.


In conclusion, an infected hangnail can be treated using a combination of home remedies and over-the-counter medications. If the infection does not improve after a few days of treatment, it is best to see a doctor.