Fingers General

Determining if You Have a Nail Bed Injury

You’ve suffered trauma to your nail. Whether it is your fingernail or your toenail, it can make your life miserable. You might have caught your nail in a door, had something dropped on it or broken a bone that caused damage to your nail as well. One of the first things that you are bound to notice is a lot of pain. If it happens to one of your fingers, it makes it very difficult to perform daily tasks that involve your hands. If it happens to your toes, you may be challenging to walk or to have an active lifestyle. Wearing a shoe on the affected foot can be such a struggle that you can only wear shoes with open toes. You have to be extremely careful about banging an injured nail because it is going to be painful for a long time until it heals. You most likely have a nail bed injury.

How Do You Know if You Have a Nail Bed Injury?

If your toenail or fingernail has been damaged in some way or has received a hard blow, you have probably damaged your nail bed. If blood gathers under the nail or if you have bleeding around the nail, you have nail bed damage. If the nail cracks and falls off, your nail bed has been injured. If the nail is torn from your nail bed, there is no doubt that your nail bed has been damaged by the experience. Bleeding, intense pain, sensitivity and evidence of torn skin are all signs that you have injured your nail bed. You can expect a lengthy healing process following your injury.

What Can You Do for a Nail Bed Injury?

Treatment for a nail bed injury will depend on how severe the damage is. If it’s as simple as blood pooling beneath the nail, the blood may be drained away or additional bleeding may be stopped. If there is any of the nail remaining, the nail can be removed. If there are any types of lacerations to the nail bed, these can be stitched. Once your nail bed has been treated, you can wear a splint on that finger or toe to protect it.

When caring for your injured nail bed at home, be sure to rinse it well, keep it clean with antibacterial soap and apply antibacterial ointment. When you are able, expose it to the open air to promote healing. However, when you are out and about, you need to keep your nail bed covered to keep it clean and avoid infection. It typically takes between three and six months before the nail grows back in.

See Our Doctor About Nail Bed Injuries

If you have been the victim of a nail bed injury, make an appointment to see our doctor for an evaluation at Arora Hand Surgery. Be sure to follow instructions and take good care of your injured nail bed while you are home. Contact us at our offices in Warren, Macomb, Howell, or West Bloomfield today to schedule your consultation and learn about your treatment options.