With proper treatment, the outlook is usually very good. In most cases, an acute paronychia heals within 5 to 10 days with no permanent damage to the nail. Rarely, very severe cases may progress to osteomyelitis (a bone infection) of the finger or toe.
How long do infected fingers last?
Depending on the cause of the infection, paronychia may come on slowly and last for weeks or show up suddenly and last for only one or two days. The symptoms of paronychia are easy to spot and can usually be easily and successfully treated with little or no damage to your skin and nails.
How serious is a finger infection?
Finger infections can become serious and may lead to a loss of a finger or part of the hand. So, home care for most finger infections is limited. However, a minor infection of the hangnail can be managed at home with proper wound care that includes allowing the wound to drain.