Home care for nail injuries

Nail injuries can vary from minor bruising or partial or full separation of the nail. Depending on the severity of the injury, these injuries can be properly treated to thwart any complications.

Remember that the fingernails are essential in the functionality of the fingers. It provides support to the finger pad as well as aids with sensation. Some of these nail injuries necessitate medical care while others can be managed at home.

Home remedies for nail injuries

When it comes to home care for nail injuries, the initial step involves wound care and proper assessment of the injury.

  • The first step is to get rid of all jewelry from the affected hand or foot.
  • Control any bleeding by applying pressure using a clean towel or cloth. Once the bleeding has stopped, remove the cloth or towel and assess the injury.
    Nail injuries

    Control any bleeding by applying pressure using a clean towel or cloth.

  • Home care might be suitable if there is only a subungual hematoma (bruise) that the individual does not want to be drained or covers less than 25% of the nail if the finger is not deformed or there are no lacerations or avulsions. If there are minimal scrapes around the nail, it is not an issue to worry about.
  • Make sure that the foot or hand is raised above the level of the heart to reduce the throbbing sensation.
  • Provide the individual with pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Cleanse any scrapes or cuts with water and soap and apply bandage.
  • In case there are any avulsions, lacerations, large-sized bruising or if the finger or toe appears deformed, the individual should be taken to the nearest emergency department.
  • Do not attempt to tug at the nail or remove it from the nail bed. You should wrap any amputated parts using a moist clean paper towel and store in a zip-locked plastic and place in ice. Bring this along when the individual is taken to the hospital.
  • Make sure that the foot or hand is wrapped in a clean towel.
  • Ask the individual if his/her tetanus immunization is updated.

In case nail injuries are considered severe, seeking immediate medical attention is vital to ensure that proper treatment is started.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on nail injuries is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to provide proper wound care for nail injuries, register for a first aid and CPR course with Kelowna First Aid.

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