Toenail Trauma: Should You Seek Treatment?

Toenail Trauma: Subungual Hematoma

The injury of your nail comes in many shapes and forms, especially the painful injuries resulting from the compression of your nail, so much so that blood now pools visibly beneath your nail. This is what is known as subungual hematoma.Well, now you know the cause. In toenails, this is common for athletic people and for those wearing uncomfortable footwear. Footwear that is too tight or narrow can break blood vessels, which creates that visible injury beneath the nail bed. In most cases, subungual hematoma is nothing to worry about, and will be resolved without treatment or complications. However, should there be extreme pain and damage to the nail bed, seek medical treatment immediately.

Over-the-counter medication can help with the discomfort. If you have a serious injury with unbearable pain or damage to the nail, then you may need to see a doctor to examine the nail further. They can recommend alternate methods of treatment such as trephination, or if serious, refer you to x-rays to examine the nail or bone beneath.

The dark marks will disappear within months, and sometimes can go up to almost a year for toenails. But rest assured, the discolouration will eventually disappear.

Approach to Nail Trauma — NUEM Blog

Key points of the blog discuss how to deal with nail trauma depending on how severe the situation is. At times, experts recommend having the nail bed removed if more than 50% of the nail is affected by subungual hematoma. This is due to the increased risk of nail bed lacerations, which requires repairing. Sometimes surgical procedures are required for repairing the nail. Regardless, it is important to protect the cuticle of the nail, as scarring or damage can prevent the regrowth of the nail.

In Emergency Medicine, subungual hematoma is one of the most common nail trauma injuries. However, many doctors today will not take out the nail bed so long as it is intact and is flat against the nail, no matter how much subungual hematoma accounts for the nail. Patients having severe injuries should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Procedures are not as daunting as they seem at first. Feel free to seek advice from experts at our clinic, who can ensure your nail will heal without complications.

How to address nail bed injuries

Protecting the nail to prevent further complications of nail bed injuries. Keep the nail bed dry to prevent infection. Ensure it is clean regularly throughout the day, and apply a layer of petroleum jelly followed by a bandage. Change the bandage if it becomes wet.

I bruised the area beneath my toenail. How long will it take to heal?

Overtime, the bruised area can take up to nine months to heal on its own. To speed up the recovery process, you can follow the treatment options outlined in the next sections.

How to remove dried blood under my fingernail?

Did you know you are able to remove dried blood beneath your fingernail?

Well, if you have been struggling with this, here are the steps to remove the dried blood:

  • Use a paperclip and straighten it, heating it until it becomes hot
  • Use the tip of the paperclip to allow it to melt through the nail, worry not, since your nail has no nerves, but do not dig it through as the skin beneath has nerves
  • Reheat the clip as needed and repeat the process, especially if you have a thick nail
  • Once the hole is successfully created, blood will escape and the pain will be resolve, the hole may result in blood or liquid drainage for a few days
  • To maintain the nail, soak the nail in warm water with soap for about ten minutes throughout the day

How to get rid of a bruise under my fingernail?

Here is how to get rid of the bruises under your fingernails:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  • Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (Advil, for example)
  • Cleaning your fingernails regularly
  • Applying topical pain relief creams

How to treat a bruise under a toenail?

Subungual hematoma is distinguishable by the buildup of blood underneath and the discolouration of the nail. Worry not, though, it can go away if the proper treatment is sought. Always go with the RICE method, which has also been explained in-depth in many previous blogs. Protect your fingernail from injury by avoiding growing your nails long and exercising caution when performing risky activities with your hand.

How to recover from a ripped off toenail?

First, it’s important to ensure the ripped toenail will not provide any other problems. To solve this, you may want to trim off the ripped area, or if it does not bother you, it is fine to leave it alone. Use soapy water to wash the toenail. Then you can apply petroleum jelly or antibiotic cream (recommended) with a bandage as mentioned above in the blog. This will protect the sensitive skin for a week or so. Make sure to change the bandage regularly.

Why do nails turn black?

Nails turn black because of the blood underneath, which occurs from nail trauma injuries. This colour can be prevalent in subungual hematoma. However, if this discolouration did not occur from a nail injury, then see your doctor as soon as possible. This can be an indication of melanoma, which is associated with skin cancer.

What are some home remedies for a smashed toenail?

If there is bleeding of the toenail, use a clean cloth to stop it. The throbbing of the pain can be alleviated through the elevation of the foot, which should be above the heart’s level. There are not necessarily home remedies for a smashed toenail, as the nail heals by itself. However, you should keep the area clean to avoid infections. Protect your smashed toenail with a layer of petroleum jelly, antibiotic cream, or a bandage. This cannot be stressed enough, as it is important to protect your toenail. If you follow these tips, your toenail will recover as time goes by!

Have you experienced toenail trauma? Visit our Burlington foot clinic to get your foot assessed. Our pedorthist and chiropodist will aid in your treatment. Serving Milton, Hamilton, Waterdown, Oakville, and Burlington we help you get back to healthy and happy living. Call us at 289-245-6624.

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