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First Aid & Emergencies

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Bleeding Under Nail (Subungual Hematoma) Treatment

1. When to See a Health Care Provider

Go to an emergency room or call a health care provider immediately if:

  • The finger or toe is deformed. It may be broken.
  • A nearby joint was also injured.
  • More than a quarter of the nail is discolored or there is continuing, intense pain.
  • Signs of infection develop, such as pus, redness, or heat around the nail, or a red streak extends from the wound.

2. Reduce Swelling and Pain

If less than a quarter of the nail is discolored and pain is manageable, home treatment may be enough.

  • For swelling, ice and elevate the area.
  • For pain, give over-the-counter pain medication.

3. Follow Up

  • If you seek medical help, the doctor may make a small hole in the nail to drain blood and reduce pressure. In some cases, the nail may need to be removed to treat injury.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on November 20, 2013

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