Surgical Intervention for Paronychia Induced by Targeted Anticancer Therapies

Hannah L. Hanania, Omar Pacha, Meghan Heberton, Anisha B. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Paronychia is a common toxicity associated with targeted anticancer therapies. Antibiotics and steroids are the standard treatments for severe paronychia, yet they are often inadequate, prolonging the patient's suffering and resulting in changes to effective cancer therapy. OBJECTIVE: This article describes the clinical course of drug-induced paronychia and attempts to identify circumstances under which nail surgery may be beneficial. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a retrospective case series from a single institution's electronic medical record for patients on paronychia-inducing anticancer therapies with nail disease visit diagnosis codes. RESULTS: The authors identified 36 nail procedures performed on 12 patients, all of whom were managed with conservative steroid and antibiotic therapy with varying degrees of improvement; however, no further improvement was seen after 90 days. Partial matricectomy, nail avulsion, debridement/clipping, and incision and drainage were performed with resolution rates of 100% (11/11), 38.5% (5/13), 12.5% (1/8), and 0% (0/4), respectively. The average time to surgical intervention was 196 days, and the average time to resolution was 268 days. CONCLUSION: This series highlights the prolonged course of severe drug-induced paronychia and the importance of surgical intervention to reduce pain and impact on cancer treatment. Partial matricectomy should be considered for paronychia unresponsive to conservative therapy by 3 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-779
Number of pages5
JournalDermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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