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Doctor insights on: Will Subungual Hematoma Kill Me

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Dr. William Singer
49 Doctors shared insights

Subungual Hematoma (Bleeding Under Nail) (Definition)

A condition in which there is bleeding under the fingernail or toenail. Usually caused by a crush injury, a subungual hematoma can cause symptoms such as intense pain and throbbing as blood collects under the nail ...Read more


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What should I do about subungual hematoma?

Get it drained: This is one of the most satisfying treatments in a primary care office. Some doctors have a special drill to go through the nail. I have used a hemostat, a red hot paper clip and a lighter when in the field on a camping trip. The trick it to just go through the nail and not into the soft tissue below. The relief is instant.

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Are the symptoms of subungual hematoma bad?

Are the symptoms of subungual hematoma bad?

Sometimes: In most cases people will have these develop when they sustained minor trauma to the nail & may not feel it at all. However, moderate trauma like catching a finger in a door jam or other direct trauma can give rise to a pressurized/painful hematoma. I routinely open these in the office with a the heated pointed end of a paper clip. The hole releases the pressure & the pain leaves.

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What is the definition or description of: subungual hematoma?

Subungual Hematoma: This term refers to blood collection beneath a nail. It can involve finger or toenails and typically requires some form of trauma or injurious force.

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Any over-the-counter help for someone with subungual hematoma?

Pain meds, but...: A dermatologist (or other trained doc) can drain the hematoma through the nail; safe and relatively easy. Don't try this at home.

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With a subungual hematoma.... How come sometimes the blood is black and sometimes it is brown? Is one better than the other?

With a subungual hematoma.... How come sometimes the blood is black and sometimes it is brown? Is one better than the other?

No: Normal course of resolution of hematoma anywhere in the body is change in color from black/ blue to brown to greenish to pale yellow to disappear. That is just how blood cells in the clot (or hematoma) disintegrate. No other clinucal relevance.

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Do a lot of people get subungual hematoma?

If injured, yes: Subungual hematoma is a blood clot under a nail, usually from a direct blow (hitting your fingertip with a hammer, stubbing your toe). If you seek medical attention within the first 24 hours, they can be drained with a hot probe thru the nail - generally almost painlessly, and by relieving the pressure it really helps the pain! Very small hematomas or older ones are not worth draining.

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Are any special tests needed, or can a regular doctor see me for my subungual hematoma?

Regular MD: Most bleeding under the naill comes from trauma. Usually nothing is needed (cold packs during the acute phase is helpful). If the finger is painful, you might need drainage. This can be done painlessly by your regular doctor.

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When a nail is falling off after a subungual hematoma, what will the nail under it look like? It looks like I can see bone underneath.

Nail bed injury: Subungual hematoma by definition means that you had a laceration of the nail bed that is the source of the blood. So expect to see an open wound.

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Subungual hematoma; left index, how long until nail falls off? Lots of blood accumulating under nail. Black in colour. Severely painful and swollen.

Subungual hematoma; left index, how long until nail falls off? Lots of blood accumulating under nail. Black in colour. Severely painful and swollen.

Trephination: Ouch! Go see your family doc about this condition, the sooner the better. S/he can make a hole (trephinate) in your nail allowing blood to escape, thus relieving pressure & pain. No anesthesia needed. Instant pain relief w/very dramatic release of blood build up. Check out http://emedicine. Medscape. Com/article/82926-overview for more info.

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Wondering if it's best to do needle drainage for subungual hematoma (finger crushed from door)or to let it heal on its own?

Drain: Best to drain the hematoma as it will eliminate pressure and you will be much more comfortable. Also hematoma indicates an injury to the nailed and this will heal better without the pressure of the hematoma.

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I had my subungual hematoma drained and I'm still experiencing increased pain in my big toe. Is an infection setting in now?

I had my subungual hematoma drained and I'm still experiencing increased pain in my big toe. Is an infection setting in now?

Signs of infection: Are redness, swelling, pus, warmth to the region, if you see any of these cardinal signs then to is a possibility. Although, the blood was drained it is plausible you may have a concomitant ingrown toenail, so I would look for that as well.

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My big toe seems to be subungual hematoma. The injury lasted for months now. Half the nail fell off 3 weeks ago & now it's blackish red again.

May be okay: The nail has partially alvulsed. The blackish redness if from degenerating hematoma that stained the new growing nails. It will take a little while to dissolve with daily washing.

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Purple-ish/black dot under nail with calcium deposits around it. Fairly certain recent trauma (jamming finger)... Fitting for subungual hematoma?

Purple-ish/black dot under nail with calcium deposits around it. Fairly certain recent trauma (jamming finger)... Fitting for subungual hematoma?

Sounds like it: Sounds like a hematoma from trauma but difficult to say without examining. If it is bothering you or not going away on it's own, see your doctor.

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How can you tell the difference between subungual hematoma vs melanoma? Had a dark area under toe nail for 3 months (not a vertical line though)

How can you tell the difference between subungual hematoma vs melanoma? Had a dark area under toe nail for 3 months (not a vertical line though)

Not safe to guess.: Telling the difference between the two is not always as simple as following as bullet point list. Both of these conditions can vary in appearance from patient to patient. To reduce the chances of missing the diagnosis, several things are needed. A thorough examination, a precise history of the problem and most importantly, experience in recognizing what you are seeing. Have the examined and soon.

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What is the treatment for subungual hematoma?

What is the treatment for subungual hematoma?

Ice, drainage: Usually it can be treated with ice to decrease the swelling along with nsaids but if swelling is more painful, a small hole can be placed in the nailplate to decrease the swelling and therefore help the pain.

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Will subdural hematoma kill me?

Depends: The mechanism of injury, size and location determine any consequences of a subdural hematoma. Neurosurgical consultation is strongly recommended.

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Will a subdural hematoma kill me?

It can: If left untreated. Small subdural can be left alone, particularly if they do not cause pressure on the brain or cause symptoms such as a headache. Larger subdurals need to be drained because of pressure on the brain. They should also be monitored to make sure they are not groing. Prevention of the primary cause should be undertaken too.

Dr. Andrew Seibert
547 Doctors shared insights

Hematoma (Definition)

A condition in which there has been bleeding between the scalp and the skull, and the blood is trapped under the scalp, forming a blood-filled bulge. Can usually ...Read more