Fingernail Injury: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Nails are an important part of our hands. However, nail injuries are also very common. Fingernail injury occurs when there is an injury to the fingernail. This injury can occur in any part of the nail such as the cuticle, the skin under the nail, or the skin around the nail. Injury can cut, break, or injure the nail. This type of injury can be painful but most often it is not considered serious. You can get rid of pain or infection due to minor nail problems at home but for serious or complicated problems, it is important to get professional help.

Fingernail Injury


There can be many reasons for fingernails to hurt, such as:

  • Bone fracture.
  • Cut into the nailbed or fingertip.
  • Cuts in tendons, which can straighten or bend the fingertip.
  • Cut veins.
  • Nails can be hurt by things like hitting nails with something heavy like a hammer, getting nails crushed into a door or a machine.
  • Finger injury while cutting something with a knife or cutter.
  • Hangnails infection.
  • By chewing the nail, the tip of the finger becomes red and hard, blood starts oozing from the cuticle.
  • Medications, such as chemotherapy and antimalarial side effects, can also cause damage to fingernails.
  • Skin diseases, such as those caused by psoriasis or eczema.
  • Caused by skin growth such as warts, lumps, or moles.
  • Addison’s disease.
  • Peripheral arterial disease.
  • HIV infection.

Fingernail Injury: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


  • If the finger is twisted due to injury to the nail and it looks like the bone is broken.
  • If the injury to your fingernail is caused by the bite of a person or animal.
  • People who work by hand especially laborers. Those people are more prone to fingernails injury.
  • The risk of injury to fingernails is also higher in sportspersons. Individuals associated with these sports should take special care to avoid this problem.


Nail injuries can be of many types such as:

  • Subungual hematoma
    This problem occurs when blood accumulates under the nails. This happens due to the nail getting buried under something heavy or due to injury to the nail by something heavy. Due to this pain, the nail becomes black and blue in color.
  • Nail bed loss
    Nail bed loss occurs when the nail and the skin under the nail are cut or broken. This can happen with a knife or any sharp object. In this condition, blood oozes out which causes pain.
  • Nail bed avulsion
    This happens when the entire nail or part of the nail separates from the finger. It is very painful and can cause swelling of the finger. This injury can also result in a fracture of the finger.

Apart from this, there can be many other injuries in fingernails.

types of fingernail injury


The injury on the fingernail can be of different types, so can its symptoms which are as follows-

  • Subungual hematoma
    In subungual hematoma, there is a formation of blood clot under the nail with swelling which seems to be red, purple, or black in color. After a few days, it turns blue. There may be a pain in the affected finger or thumb.
  • Nail loss
    Nail loss means a cut in the nail, under the nail, cuticle, etc. There is bleeding in this injury.
  • Fingertip amputation
    It means separation of the nail or fingertip from the finger which causes terrible pain.
  • Nail avulsion
    This injury occurs when part of the nail protrudes above the skin or sticks out of the cuticle on the surface of the nail. In this condition, a lot of blood can be seen around the affected nail.
  • Fracture
    A fracture in the bone under the nail can also be called a nail injury, it is called a distal tuft fracture. An X-ray is done for this diagnosis when the tip of the finger is bent.

fingernail injury treatment


The doctor will first learn from the patient about the causes of the injury. If the bone is broken then an X-ray may also be done. The doctor can know about the injury only after doing a thorough examination of your nail. The doctor’s aim will be to repair such an injury as well as restore the nail to its pre-position. If blood has accumulated, then the doctor will remove this blood by making a small hole in the nail. Anesthesia and pain-relieving medicine may be given in this situation. Surgery may also be done in severe cases. In most cases, the nail is completely healed by surgery and returns to normal within a few days. But in many injuries, the nail can become deformed.

Just like the injury in the fingernail is different, so is its treatment in a different way depending on the doctor’s advice.

For any information related to the fingernail injury, visit our Specialty Care Clinics -if you have any type of fingernail injury or problem.

Our team of experienced doctors will advise you on the best option for your safety.

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