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"Can dried blood be removed from beneath fingernails?"

ZocdocAnswersCan dried blood be removed from beneath fingernails?


I have dried blood underneath two of my fingernails from where I smashed my hand in a car door a few weeks ago. Now that the more obvious injuries have healed up, is there a way for me to 'wash out' or otherwise get rid of the dried blood? I'm a businessman, so it's an unsightly problem I can't have.


Nail injuries are common and painful but, fortunately, they usually heal without much trouble with time. If you need to discuss this issue in more detail, your primary care doctor would be available to help. After a nail injury, such as smashing your hand the door, it is quite common for blood to collect under the nail. This is called a subungual hematoma. This blood is not generally harmful and, although unsightly, does not specifically need medical attention. Generally, as the nail grows out so will the collection of blood under it. This can, unfortunately, require several weeks. Occasionally the amount of blood is significant enough that it cause pressure and is painful. In this case, a small hole can be bored in the nail with a sharp object to drain the blood. This may be possible in your case, although given that the injury was several weeks ago the blood may have dried up at this point. Some people will do this at home with a paperclip heated with a flame, while others will prefer to have their doctor do it. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your specific complaint will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor would be advisable.

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