Torn or Detached Nail
Torn or Detached Nail Facts
What Are Causes and Risk Factors for a Torn or Detached Nail?
Since the nails are on the back of our fingertips and toes, they are prone to damage. Anyone who works or plays or runs or walks has injured a fingernail or toenail. Longer nails are more likely to become damaged because they can be levered off the nail bed or run into the end of an athletic shoe. Poorly fitting shoes are likely to injure nails through repeated trauma.
What Are Symptoms and Signs of a Torn or Detached Nail?
Torn or damaged nails are quite apparent on simple examination. After a traumatic event, a portion of the nail or even the entire nail is no longer adherent to the nail bed. This is most often associated with a minimal amount of bleeding and a moderate amount of pain.
When Should Someone Seek Help for a Torn or Detached Nail?
Once a nail has been torn or detached, there is little that can be done to replace or repair it. The major concern is damage to adjacent structures. If there seems to be significant damage to areas around the nail, then a visit to a physician may be necessary. If there are any signs of infection, swelling, increasing pain, or pus that develop a few days after the injury, then a visit to a physician is mandatory. Occasionally, after blunt trauma to a nail, there may be bleeding between the nail and the nail bed resulting in a subungual hematoma. This can produce a very painful problem that can be quickly relieved when a doctor drills a tiny hole in the nail plate to immediately relieve the pressure of the accumulated blood.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/23/2015
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