Q:

What immediate treatment is advised for a crushed fingernail?

A:

Quick Answer

Immediate treatment for a crushed fingernail includes seeing a health care provider if the nail tears off completely when crushed, advises WebMD. Otherwise, apply pressure to stop any bleeding, ice the area to control swelling, and take over-the-counter pain relievers.

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Full Answer

If the crushed fingernail bleeds, press a clean cloth on the area to stop the bleeding, but contact emergency medical services if the wound bleeds significantly and doesn't stop after at most 10 minutes, explains WebMD. If the bleeding does stop, clean the area, and trim the nail as needed. Treat the injured area with antibiotic ointment, and wrap with a sterile bandage. Ice the area regularly to keep down the swelling, and change the dressing at least once a day.

If blood collects under the fingernail causing severe pressure and pain, burn a small hole through the crushed nail using the heated end of a metal paper clip, says MedlinePlus. Only do this procedure when instructed to do so by a health care provider. Burning a hole through the nail allows the blood to flow out and ease the pressure and pain. Repeat as necessary, but contact a doctor if the procedure either doesn't work or the area becomes infected.

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