Nail Bed Injury

ExitCare ImageThe nail bed is the soft tissue under a fingernail or toenail. Various types of injuries can occur at the nail bed. These may involve bruising or bleeding under the nail, cuts in the nail or nail bed, or loss of the nail or a part of it. It can take several months for a damaged nail to regrow. In some cases, the nail may not grow back normally.


  • Raise (elevate) the injured part to lessen pain and puffiness (swelling).  

  • For an injured toenail, lie with your leg on pillows. Avoid walking or letting your leg dangle. When you walk, wear an open-toe shoe.  

  • For an injured fingernail, keep your hand above the level of your heart. Use pillows on a table or on the arm of your chair while sitting. Use pillows on your bed while sleeping.  

  • Use bandages or splints as told by your doctor.  

  • Keep your bandage (dressing) clean and dry. Change your bandage as told by your doctor.  

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.  

  • See your doctor as needed.


  • You have more pain, leaking fluid (drainage), or bleeding in the injured area.  

  • You have redness, soreness, and puffiness (inflammation) in the injured area.

  • You have a fever or lasting symptoms for more than 2–3 days.

  • You have a fever and your symptoms suddenly get worse.

  • You have puffiness that spreads from your finger into your hand or from your toe into your foot.  


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch this condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.