ZocdocAnswersHow long do I wait to drain out the blood from under my nail?

Question

How long do I wait to drain out the blood from under my nail?

First time with a bruised or hit finger and I don't know what to do.

Answer

I'm sorry to hear that you hit your finger! I would recommend seeing your primary care doctor for help with this. With trauma to the nail it is common to rupture some blood vessels and have some collection of blood under the nail. However, most of the time, the amount of blood that collects is fairly minor and no specific treatment is required. However, if the blood collection is more significant, it may cause severe pain and require drainage. Your doctor will be able to take a look at your finger and help you decide which category you are in. If drainage is required, this is a very simple procedure that doesn't require any numbing medication or other preparation. Basically, your doctor will use a small needle to drill a hole in the nail, which doesn't hurt since the nail doesn't have any nerve endings. Once the nail is punctured by the needle, the collected blood will drain out and, usually, the relief of pain will be immediate. When you see your doctor, they will also be able to make sure you haven't fractured any bones or otherwise damaged your hand in any more serious way. Good luck!

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