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Nail Injuries

Nail Injuries Overview

The fingernail is an important part of fingertip function. It provides support for the finger pad and improves sensation. The toenail functions in a similar manner in the foot.

Injuries to the nail can range from a bruise under the nail to separation of the nail from the nail bed. They can be complex wounds to repair. Permanent deformity to the nail can result, even after proper repair.

The nail is a complex structure involving three different layers.

  • The nail bed is underneath the nail plate and is responsible for nail growth and support.
  • The nail plate itself is the hard substance on the back of the finger or toe.
  • The eponychium (cuticle) and lateral nail folds (raised skin on the sides of the nail) are also part of the nail unit.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/14/2015
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Nail Injuries - Causes

What was the cause of your nail injury?

finger and nail problems

Nail Problems and Injuries


Minor fingernail and toenail problems are common. At one time or another, almost everyone has caught a nail on something, causing it to rip, or has smashed a finger in a door, leaving blood under the nail. These kinds of injuries can be quite painful but are usually not serious. You can often relieve pain and prevent infection of minor nail problems at home.


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Hand, Finger Nail and Tip Injuries »

As the terminal extension of the fingers and hand, the fingertips are the portions of the upper extremity through which we touch, feel, write, draw, and perform activities of daily living.

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