Nails are important for a finger to function. It helps protect the fingertip and gives support to the finger. Subungual hematoma or a bruise under the nail is a common injury. Some blood usually clots under the nail thus causing some discoloration.
Here’s a simple way to treat a bruised nail.
- Remove anything that may hinder blood from flowing. If the bruised nail is found in the fingers, remove all the jewelry such as rings and bracelets. Jewelry inhibits blood flow. Remove your watch as well. If the bruise is found on the toes, remove socks and shoes. Avoid wearing socks and shoes until the nail has completely healed. Wear slippers if you need to. Make sure though that it is loose and does not cover or hinder blood from flowing to your toes.
- Apply warm and cold compress on you bruised nail. If the bruise is fresh, apply ice over the injury for twenty to thirty minutes every two to four hours. Do this for twenty four hours. Icing will help lessen the bruise. This will also lessen the swelling. You can put ice in a towel and wrap it around the bruised nail. Another alternative to ice is wrapping a bag of frozen vegetables over the injury. Make sure to remove it after a couple of minutes to avoid getting frost bite. Apply warm compress if the bruise does not disappear after two days. You can also alternate applying warm and cold compress.
- Remove blood or other fluids under the nail. Fluids sometimes form under the bruised nail. Make sure you remove it to avoid bacteria from forming. You can remove the blood or fluids using tissue. You can also remove them using a sterile needle. Very carefully remove the blood or fluids from under the nail. You can do this or ask someone else to do it for you. Draining the blood or fluid will sometimes alleviate the pain and swelling immediately.
- Make sure the nail is always sterile. Clean it by soaking it in a tub of Epsom salt. Not only does Epsom salt sterilize the nail but it also helps alleviate swelling. Soak the bruised nail in the basin with warm water and Epsom salt for at least 10 minutes for two to three days. You can also sterilize the nail with rubbing alcohol.
- Keep the nail in place with gauze bandage. Wrap a sterile gauze bandage around the nail and finger or toe to keep the nail in place. Eventually the nail will fall off and will be replaced with a new one. Do not try to remove the nail yourself. It will bleed if you do. Let it naturally fall off.
- Keep it elevated. Keep your hand or foot elevated. Make sure that it is above the level of your heart. You can let it rest on top of pillows to avoid straining yourself.
If the bruise does not disappear after a week or two, have your bruise checked by a professional doctor.