How to treat subungual hematoma

Subungual hematoma or bleeding under the nail is a condition where there is bleeding beneath the toenail or fingernail, usually due to a crushing injury and it causes symptoms which includes intense pain and throbbing sensation as blood builds up under the nail. If you will enroll in a course on first aid today, you can readily manage this injury.

Causes of subungual hematoma

  • Hitting a finger with a heavy object such as a hammer or heavy wood
  • Slamming the finger in a car door or door in the house.
  • Stubbing a toe on a hard surface.
Subungual hematoma

Severe, throbbing pain caused by the pressure of blood that builds up between the nail and the nail bed.

Sometimes, a tumor found under the nail causes a darkened area that is similar to subungual hematoma. If there is a darkened area under a nail with no history of trauma to the nail should be evaluated by a health care professional. The spot will grow out together with the nail if it is a subungual hematoma. On the other hand, if it stays in the same spot under the nail, it is a tumor.

Symptoms of subungual hematoma

  • Severe, throbbing pain caused by the pressure of blood that builds up between the nail and the nail bed.
  • There is tenderness and swelling of the tip of the affected finger or toe.
  • A dark-colored discoloration either red, maroon, or purple black found under all or part of the affected nail.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Rest the affected area as much as possible.
  • Apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables around the injured area. Avoid placing ice directly on top of the skin. Make sure that it is covered with a clean towel or cloth.
  • Rest in a bed or a recliner chair with the injured hand or foot placed on top of a couple of cushions or pillows.
  • Provide the individual with pain medications such as ibuprofen in order to minimize the pain and inflammation every four hours. The combination of medication and application of ice significantly minimizes the pain.
  • Trim the nail carefully if it is torn after an injury and cover the nail if the nail bed is exposed

Draining of the blood

  • Prepare the needed items such as a paper clip, a flame source, wash cloth and antibacterial cream.
  • Straighten the paper clip and soak in boiling water for 2 minutes.
  • Place the end of the paper clip into the flame until it is extremely hot. Put the heated tip into the center of the nail allowing it to melt and make a small hole. Remember not to push the clip too hard to avoid reaching the tissue underneath. Take time and reheat the paper clip if needed to go through the thickened nail.
  • Once there is a small hole in the nail, allow the fluid to drain out from the nail. Wash the nail using warm soapy water and apply an antibiotic cream. Repeat the draining process after a few days in order to completely remove all the blood under the nail.


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