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Bruised nail

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Bruised Nail

What is a bruised nail and what causes it?

Bruised nail is also known as ‘subungual hematoma’ or ‘blood under a nail’.

The condition is caused by severe trauma or injury to the nail which has led to bleeding and the collection of blood under the injured nail.

Any part of the nail unit can be effected but the nail matrix area is where most severe cases happen as injury can cause changes to the nail shape. After injury, blood vessels break, allowing blood to leak under the nail. Almost always, the hematoma disrupts the connection between the nail plate and underlying soft tissues of the nail bed. Whilst the condition can be very painful due to sensitive nerve endings in the nail unit, pain usually lessens after 2-3 days as the nail starts to grow out.

Who does it affect?


How can nail technicians help?

The condition can be successfully treated. Nail technicians should identify if the client has in fact injured the nail as a bruise-like appearance, without explanation, may signal another condition in which case the client should seek medical advice.

If the bruised nail happens to you or a client in your salon, place the effected nail under cold water or apply an ice compress (found in your first aid kit) to soothe the nail. Over the counter pain relief can also help lessen the pain but your client can decide for themselves. It is not the nail technician‘s job to provide medical advice.

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