How to Treat Bleeding Under the Nail

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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.

Things You'll 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 & 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.

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