How to Treat a Bruised Fingernail

A subungual hematoma, or bruised nail, can occur after a minor injury. It is the collection of blood absorption that occurs after an injury. In minor injuries, the blood is reabsorbed into the body, unless an infection develops. If you injure your nail and a bruise occurs, there are different things you can do at home to treat the nail.

Apply ice as soon as possible after the injury, and continue to apply it a few times a day. Wrap the ice in a towel, or use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel.

Wrap the injured nail with a clean, sterile bandage for 30 to 60 minutes. Elevate the your hand above the level of your heart to reduce swelling and allow the bleeding to stop.

Soak the nail in Epsom Salt twice daily, following the directions on the box.

Rest your hand to prevent further injury. Use a bandage to hold the nail in place.

Use a heating pad or warm towel for 20 minutes at a time to alleviate the pain. Apply cold compresses after to eliminate swelling.

Wrap the hand with an elastic adhesive bandage to reduce hemorrhaging and swelling.

Take an anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen.

Consult a doctor if more severe symptoms start to develop, such as a high fever (101 degrees or more), increased pain or swelling with redness and pus. If the hematoma occurs over more than 25% of the nail, consult a doctor immediately.


Do not apply ice directly to the skin.

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