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Bleeding Under Nail (Subungual Hematoma) Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on January 18, 2020

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 anti-inflammatories like aspirin, Advil or Motrin.

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

Sources

SOURCES:

University of Pennsylvania Health System Orthopaedic Journal: "Emergency Room Treatment of the Hand."

Children's Hospital, Denver: "Finger Injury."

University of Michigan: "Nail Problems and Injuries."

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