What is an easy way to treat a smashed fingernail?


Quick Answer

Easy methods to treat a smashed fingernail include applying an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling, taking an over-the-counter pain medication to ease discomfort and, with the approval of a health care provider, draining the fingernail, according to MedlinePlus. Splints should not be used on a smashed finger.

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Full Answer

If pain and swelling become severe and ice does reduce the swelling, an individual should contact a health care provider for guided assistance in draining the fingernail at home. The health care provider may provide steps for at-home care, or he may recommend coming in for a consultation, notes MedlinePlus.

To use a paperclip to drain blood pooled under the fingernail, the fingernail and the paperclip must be sanitary and disinfected. The individual should unbend the paper clip and heat one tip until it appears red. Using a pair of pliers to hold the paperclip helps prevent burns and stabilize the tip. Touching the heated tip of the paperclip to the area of the fingernail where blood is pooled creates a small hole in the nail that allows the blood to drain. This process can prevent the fingernail from falling off and can be repeated if the hole closes or pressure rebuilds, explains MedlinePlus.

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