Bleeding under a fingernail or toenail may mean that you have a nail bed laceration, or it may be hematoma, a bruised nail. If you have hematoma, you can often treat it yourself. If you have a nail bed laceration, however, you need immediate medical attention. There are some steps you should take to determine your best course of action.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Clean towel
Remove any jewelry you may have on and wash the affected area. Apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding.
Examine the area. If the finger or toe is bent or deformed, if there is a deep cut, or if part of the nail is lifted away from the nail bed or missing, you need immediate medical attention.
Wrap the hand or foot in a clean towel. Keep it elevated above your heart if possible.
Check your health records to see when you last received a tetanus shot. Then go to a doctor.
Tips and warnings
- Your doctor will remove your nail if you have a serious nail bed laceration. Using magnifying equipment, he will assess the nail bed for repair, and probably sew up the nail bed and surrounding skin.
- Do not pull on the injured nail or try to remove it. If your injury is not treated, you may get a scar or your nail may grow back abnormally.