Blood under the toenail is a clear sign of a toe injury. In this article, we have discussed its causes and treatment options available for healing the injury. Read on to know more…
Toenails are susceptible to different forms of injury. When the toenail is badly hit, then bleeding occurs under the nail however, it cannot flow out. This accumulated blood then puts a lot of pressure on the toenail and you experience a constant throbbing pain which will continue as long as bleeding occurs. The blood and fluid build up under the toenail, causes swelling in the area. When too much of blood gets collected, then the nail turns black and looks really ugly. Over a period of time, the toenail may separate from the underlying nail bed and fall off.
How do You Get a Bruised Toenail?
Blood may get accumulated under a toenail due to bleeding which occurs after you’ve banged the toe against any hard surface or some heavy object falls on it. However, sometimes, it happens that there is blood under the toenail but you do not know the reason as there was no traumatic injury. Here, it is not caused by any major traumatic injury but is caused by repetitive injury of the toenail. This is common in athletes who run excessively. As you put your step forward for walking or running, the front part of the toes get rubbed against the inner surface of the shoes. If you are wearing tight fitting shoes, then compression of the toe damages the nail bed. As a result, a blister is formed under the toenail and blood and fluid gets accumulated there. You may also get bruises under the nail if the size of the nail is so big that it is pushed at the front end of the shoe again and again.
How to Drain Blood From Under a Toenail
When you discover signs of injury on the toenail, then you can give it some simple treatments at home in the first 48 hours. First of all, clean the injury site with antibacterial soap and plain water. Then soak the bruised nail in ice-cold water for 15-20 minutes and you can repeat it a number of times throughout the day. This cold therapy will stop the bleeding and provide soothing relief from the pain. Try to keep the feet at an elevated position as much as possible to decrease the swelling.
After 24 hours, once the pain and swelling have gone down, you can try to drain out the blood under the toenail with the help of a simple procedure. For this, you just need a straightened paperclip. Soak the paperclip in boiling water for 2 minutes. After that, heat the tip of the paperclip by holding it above the flame of a lighter and keep it there till it becomes red hot. Next, place the heated end of the clip on the affected toenail to melt the nail and make a small hole in it. While doing this, do not put any pressure with the clip as it can crack the nail bed and cause damage to the underlying sensitive skin. If required, reheat the clip a few more times and place it on the nail. When the hole is formed, press the end of the toe and you will find blood oozing out of the hole. Wash off the area with warm soapy water and apply an antibiotic ointment. This will relieve the pain and swelling almost instantly. If you find some blood residue still left behind, you can repeat this treatment after a week.
How to Treat a Bloody Toenail
If the pain and swelling refuse to go even after draining out the fluid at home, then you must visit a doctor as it could be a sign of infection. Those who are diabetic or have any other underlying health problem should not try to drain blood from a toenail at home. A significant fluid build up under the toenail which is causing severe pain has to be treated under the supervision of the doctor only. Doctors drain out the blood with the help of a surgical blade or rotary drill. Then they prescribe oral pain relieving medicines and antiseptic cream for topical application. In some cases, where the toenail turns black, they may recommend its complete removal.
Once the accumulated blood under the toenail is released, the pain and swelling will subside on its own. After a few days, you may lose the nail. However, it will grow back in a matter of 4-6 months. Then onwards you must try to prevent any kind of injury to the toes. This is possible by wearing of properly fitted shoes and regular trimming of the nails so that the toes do not strike against the shoe again and again.