Nail Bed Avulsion

toenail avulsionDoctors define a nail bed avulsion as the detachment of the fingernail, or toenail, from the bed.  Nail bed avulsions encompass both partial and full detachment of the nail from the bed and include both causes of trauma or infection.  A painful condition, many patients find themselves stressing out over how to handle a nail bed avulsion.  At home treatment consists of protecting the nailbed from infection and controlling pain and swelling.  Control of pain and swelling takes place in the first two days from injury, and infection prevention continues until the nailbed hardens over about a week and a half.

Risks associated with nail bed avulsion

Risks associated with the detachment of a fingernail, or toenail, include infection, pain, and swelling.  Symptoms of infection include redness in the tissues around the detachment, seeping pus, or the development of a fever.  Prevention of infection includes cleaning and keeping clean the nailbed during the healing process.  Prevention includes antibiotic ointments along with non-stick dry dressing changed daily for about a week and half until the nailbed hardens.  In the event the bandage heals into the wound the patient should soak the bandage and wound until the bandage comes free without disrupting the healing tissues.  Using proper first aid in the first two days reduces the swelling and pain associated with a nail bed avulsion.

Treatment of a nail bed avulsion

finger dressingTo treat a nail bed avulsion, you should start with stopping the bleeding.  If you are unable to stop the bleeding or require stitches, you should seek medical intervention.  Prioritize keeping the wound clean by treating it with antibiotic ointment and covering it with sterile bandaging.  The bandages require changing at least once every day otherwise the bandaging will begin to heal into your wound.  If your bandage has stuck to the wound, you can soak it in warm water to try and loosen up any dried fluids.  The first two days hold high importance in reducing the amount of swelling that will take place causing additional pain.  Cool the area with ice, or an icepack, for twenty minutes at a time on and off and keep the wound above your heart for as much time as you can manage.  After two days the swelling you have should not increase and if it does you should seek medical intervention to rule out an infection.  Use NSAIDs at your discretion for managing the pain.  After roughly a week or two the nailbed will stabilize by hardening.  After the nailbed hardens you simply wait for your nail to regrow over the next six months to a year.  Nail bed avulsions that include damage to the matrix cells under the cuticle may not regrow or they may regrow incorrectly.

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