ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Drain Blood From a Subungual Hematoma

Updated on March 14, 2020
Novel Treasure profile image

Novel Treasure is a published author who is experienced in using home remedies, such as this one, to take care of common ailments.

Blood bister under fingernail
Blood bister under fingernail | Source

Most of us have done this at least once in our lifetime:

  • smashed your finger in the door
  • kicked the coffee table in the middle of the night
  • missed with the hammer and hit your finger instead

Whichever you have experienced, chances are you have had a blood form under your fingernail or toenail.

The medical terminology for blood under the fingernail or toenail is a subungual hematoma. A subungual hematoma is formed by an injury to the fingernail or toenail.

Regardless of how you to refer to it, it is extremely painful. The blood pools in between the bed of your nail and the fingernail or toenail, which causes intense pain due to the build-up of pressure.

Treatment for Minor Subungual Hematomas

What should you do if you smash your toe or finger and a subungual hematoma begins to form under your nail?

  • Elevation—Raise your hand or your foot so that the injury is above your heart. This will help reduce the blood flow to your injury, which will help reduce the pressure and throbbing.
  • Ice—Ice your injury as soon as you can. Do not place ice directly on the injury, but wrap it in a towel or put the ice in a ziplock baggy before applying to injury. Frozen vegetables like peas or corn work great because they conform to the shape of your finger or toe.
  • Over-the-counter pain medication—For minor subungual hematomas, this will help relieve the pain.

Finger Ice Packs

Dr. Frederick's Original Frosty Fingers - 2 Ice Packs for Fingers, Thumbs & Toes - Fast-Freezing & Reusable - for Injuries, Arthritis, Chronic Pain
Dr. Frederick's Original Frosty Fingers - 2 Ice Packs for Fingers, Thumbs & Toes - Fast-Freezing & Reusable - for Injuries, Arthritis, Chronic Pain
These finger ice packs are handy to have around for when you smash your finger in the door of a car, or hit it with a hammer, or jam it playing sports. We keep a half dozen in our freezer and they take up little to no space, but add tremendous specific relief when you do need them. They are flexible and wrap all the way around the finger.

Medical Disclaimer

Please note that the advice given in this article is not from a medical professional.

We strongly advise you to see your physician should you obtain an injury such as a severe subungual hematoma.

How to Safely Lance Your Fingernail

Should you find that the above treatments are not working and the pressure is not reducing, you can always try to lance your fingernail to allow the blood to drain from between the nail bed and fingernail/toenail.

Most medical professionals would advise you against performing this procedure on your own and recommend that you see a certified nurse or doctor for this procedure.

However, should you find yourself in a situation where this option is not available, here are some tips on how to lance your fingernail safely and in a sterile environment.

Rubbing alcohol to sterilize injury and needle
Rubbing alcohol to sterilize injury and needle | Source

Items Needed to Lance your Nail

Items you will need to lance your fingernail to relieve blood under the nail:

  • Needle (paperclip can be used, but we prefer a needle)
  • Pliers - to hold needle in flame
  • Rubbing Alcohol - alcohol wipes will work too
  • Candle (you can use a lighter, but a candle is easier)
  • Washcloth - to sterilize finger and needle

Steps to Lance Nail

  1. The person doing the lancing should wash their hands thoroughly.
  2. Pour alcohol into a washcloth and thoroughly wash injured area and surrounding area.
  3. Pinch the needle with the pliers (pointy end should be facing out).
  4. Place needle tip directly into the flame and hold for a minute.
  5. Wipe needle with alcohol.
  6. Place the needle tip directly into the flame a second time and hold for several minutes or until the needle is glowing hot.
  7. Place tip of the needle on the injured nail. You do not need to push because the heat from the needle will melt through the nail.
  8. As soon as you see blood start to seep through the hole in the nail, remove needle immediately.

The pressure that has built up behind the nail will force the blood out through the pinhole. You should start to feel the pressure ease. If it is not too uncomfortable, you can also gently press the area surrounding the nail to help release more of the blood. Do not press directly on the nail itself. Once the blood has stopped coming through the hole, swab the injury and the surrounding area with alcohol one more time.

Alternative Hematoma Healing Methods

Hemoclar Bruises, Trauma and Hematoma cream 40 Grams
Hemoclar Bruises, Trauma and Hematoma cream 40 Grams
If you don't like the idea of lancing your nail for whatever reason, a safe alternative besides ice and epsom salt soaks, is Hemoclar hematoma cream. We keep some in our first aid kit on camping trips for small bruises on the surface of the skin.

Home Video of Draining Blood from Nail


Submit a Comment
  • Majestic Tells profile image


    7 months ago from Kanab, Utah

    Very informative article I am diabetic so very essential info ...indeed


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)