Fingernail Injury

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

November 30, 2018

March 06, 2020

Fingernail Injury
Fingernail Injury

What is Fingernail Injury?

A fingernail injury refers to an external injury of a fingernail, which alters the structure and the function of the fingernail. The injury can be caused due to callous working at workplace, overgrown nails, or excessive nail biting. Self-care of nails can avoid injuries. Nail injuries can prevent you from pursuing everyday chores.

What are the main associated signs and symptoms?

The common signs and symptoms of a fingernail injury include

  • Accumulation of blood under the nail causing a bluish black discolouration
  • Continuous pain
  • Fever
  • Throbbing in the nail
  • Cracked nails
  • Swelling
  • Occasional bleeding
  • Pus formation in some cases

What are the main causes?

Some of the most common causes of fingernail injuries are

  • Long uncut nails
  • Bruises
  • Excessive nail biting
  • Cuticle biting
  • Bacterial or viral infections

How is it diagnosed and treated?

In case of a fingernail injury, you will immediately see that the nail of the affected finger will start to show the symptoms.

The doctor will physically examine your wound or injury on the fingernail or thumbnail. Blood tests and imaging tests are needed only if there is a deeper injury to the underlying ligament. The doctor will then prescribe painkillers and antibiotics for infection to treat.

Some of the common ways to reduce pain include:

  • Gently wash under cool running water to wash away any dirt or possible infection-causing microbes
  • Ice pack – Apply it for 20 minutes every few hours for pain relief. This is an important first aid to halt any bleeding and control pain and swelling.
  • Compression therapy
  • Use painkillers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Some of the effective and easy ways to prevent fingernail injuries are:

  • Keep your nails properly trimmed
  • Do not bite your nails and cuticle
  • Make sure you take all precautions while working especially with electronic devices and heavy machinery


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  4. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Nails - fingernail and toenail problems
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Wounds and Injuries