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June 1993

Acute Paronychia Apparently Caused by Candida albicans in a Healthy Female

Author Affiliations

USA; USA; USA Dermatology Service Walter Reed Army Medical Center Washington, DC 20307; USA Martin Army Hospital Ft Benning, GA 3190

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(6):786-787. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680270130022

To the Editor.—  Paronychia is characterized by inflammation and swelling of the lateral and proximal nail fold. The sudden onset of redness, swelling, and pain with abscess or cellulitis formation in the nail fold is characteristic of acute paronychia. Chronic paronychia develops more slowly and presents with mild erythema and swelling of the nail folds. Acute paronychia is almost always bacterial in origin, unlike chronic paronychia, where Candida albicans can be cultured frequently (>70%).1 We present a case of an acute, suppurative abscess formation of the proximal nail fold apparently caused by C albicans.

Report of a Case.—  A 56-year-old healthy black female computer operator presented with a 2-week history of pain, erythema, and fluctuant swelling of the proximal nail fold of the index finger of her dominant hand. Following incision, a thick, white curdlike material was expressed from the nail fold (Fig 1). Gram's stain of the exudate

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