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Subungual Hematoma

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A subungual hematoma is a collection of blood under your fingernail or toenail.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your doctor if:

  • You have increased redness, swelling, or pain.
  • You notice pus or a bad smell coming from your nail.
  • You see red streaks on your finger or toe that starts from your nail.
  • Your nail falls off and there is bleeding.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Apply ice on your finger or toe for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Elevate your finger or toe above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your finger or toe on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
  • Gently trim your nail if it begins to fall off in pieces. This may decrease your risk for catching the nail on an object or ripping it off.
    Correct way to trim toenails
  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit correctly to prevent more injury to your toe.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Subungual Hematoma (Aftercare Instructions)

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