Blue nail or subcutaneous hematoma
Most of us have experienced this phenomenon. Some personally, and some were witnesses of someone else's "success". :) Let's talk today about the blue nail, and whether it is worth attaching great importance to it.
A blue nail, or in a scientific way under the nail hematoma, is an accumulation of blood under the nail of the hand or foot.
What is a sub-nail hematoma?
The word hematoma means "a pocket of blood". With the word “under the nail”, I think everything is clear :) As a result, we have a pocket of blood that was trapped under the nail. Under nail hematomas often occur as a result of traumatic injuries, such as, for example, pinching fingers in the door. Damage to the nail bed causes bleeding in the area under the hard nail plate. As a result of this, the nail in the damaged area becomes dark blue.
I encountered a blue nail in early childhood when I wanted to hammer imaginary nails with my dad's hammer. :) Then there was screaming throughout the apartment, but then, for a month, I felt unique in the yard, because I had something that other girls did not have - a magical blue nail!! True, all the spells were broken when I saw the same identification mark on our neighbor Uncle Sasha, who worked at a construction. :)
Symptoms of an under nail hematoma
They are easy to identify. As I said, this phenomenon most often occurs after a painful injury, and looks like a bruise under the nail. The size of a sub-nail hematoma can range from a very small dot to blue or black staining of the entire nail.
In these more severe cases, the nail often falls off. Quite often, under the nail hematoma is accompanied by pain, due to the pressure that has appeared under the nail. After the blood begins to accumulate under the nail and there is nowhere for it to flow out, the pressure builds up and the pain can become really severe.
Causes of a blue nail
There are several main causes of under nail hematoma. Sometimes the cause is microtrauma. It most often happens to the toenails of long-distance runners. When a nail rubs against the end of a shoe during vigorous walking or running, it is often slowly injured.
Sometimes the reason is not too intense training, but rather the wrong shoes. Usually in these cases, a small hematoma develops under the nail, due to insufficient blood supply for the development of pain. Most often, only the discoloration of the nail occurs, but microtrauma can develop to the point where the nails become very loose and eventually fall off on their own. The second cause of under-nail hematoma is domestic trauma. The skin under the nail is very thin and can easily bleed.
What to do with the blue nail?
If under the nail hematoma is not accompanied by aching pain, treatment is not necessary. It's best to just leave the affected area alone and the blue nail will eventually grow back. However, if the person feels constant high pressure and sharp pain, I suggest applying ice to the affected nail as this will help slow down the circulation and is good for swelling and pain. In extreme cases, doctors allow you to take painkillers.
If the pain continues even after ice and painkillers, get ready to see a doctor! The doctor will examine the nail and determine if the blood that has accumulated under the nail needs to be drained. If this is the case, the doctor will prick the nail at the site of injury, either by burning it or by drilling a small hole, in order to drain the blood from under the nail plate.
In some cases (most often when it comes to damage to the toenail), the nail is so weak and does not hold well that it is easier to simply remove it. This is done under local anesthesia and allows for immediate pain relief.
What should a manicurist do with a blue nail?
Most often, if the injury was minor, and not accompanied by painful sensations, then the manicurist can simply apply a coating on the nail, darker than the color under the nail hematoma. If the client came after visiting the doctor and piercing the nail, then you need to make sure that enough time has passed, and the blood under the nail has dried up, and a new nail grows on the cuticle. If the underlying skin of the nail bed has not yet healed and the area is moist, the artist should wait before applying any product.
Under nail hematoma in diabetes
Diabetes mellitus leads to changes in the extremities, including hardening of the veins in the legs and arms, reduced blood flow, and damage to the veins to the point that you may not feel the presence of bodily injury. In the case of a sub-nail hematoma, the nail bed can become infected and the infection can easily spread to deeper tissues such as bones. Diabetics are more susceptible to infection, so in this case, you need to be more careful and cautious.
As you can see, a blue nail is not something particularly scary and dangerous, but be attentive to your body and protect yourself from further injury!