Symptoms and Signs of Subungual Hematoma (Bleeding Under Nail)

Doctor's Notes on Subungual Hematoma (Bleeding Under Nail)

A subungual hematoma refers to a collection of blood beneath the fingernail or toenail. The cause of a subungual hematoma is usually direct trauma or injury to the nail, such as hitting the finger or toe with a heavy object, or closing the finger in a door. This is a common type of injury to the fingernail. If there has been an injury to the hand or finger, a subungual hematoma may be associated with other injuries to the area such as a fracture of bones.

The collection of blood between the nail bed and the nail causes pressure and typically leads to intense pain. There is a discoloration of the nail, with the area of bleeding taking on a red, blue-black, maroon, or other dark color. Other associated signs and symptoms may be present if there is another underlying injury.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.