How to Relieve Pain from a Bruised Nail: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Nail injuries are quite common and can often result in blood accumulating under the nail. This can lead to intense pain, swelling, and discomfort. The good news is that you can relieve the pain at home by draining the blood from under the nail. In this article, we will walk you through the steps involved in alleviating the pain caused by a bruised nail.


Before we jump into the steps, let’s first understand what blood under a nail is and why it’s essential to drain it. Blood under a nail is a condition that occurs when blood accumulates beneath the nail bed. It usually happens due to a direct injury to the nail or finger. The pooled blood puts pressure on the nail, causing swelling and excruciating pain. Draining the blood is crucial to relieving the pressure, reducing pain, and preventing further complications.

Assessing the Severity of the Injury

Before you start the process of draining the blood, it’s vital to determine the severity of the injury. This assessment will help you decide whether the nail needs to be removed or if there are any complications that require medical attention.

If the injury is minor, you can proceed with draining the blood at home. However, if the injury is severe, it’s best to seek medical attention. A severe injury may necessitate nail removal, and a healthcare professional should clean and dress the wound. Signs of a severe injury include intense pain, extreme swelling, and complete detachment of the nail from the nail bed.

Preparing for the Process

After assessing the severity of the injury, the next step is to prepare for draining the blood from under the nail. This involves gathering the necessary tools and materials, cleaning the area around the nail, and applying a numbing agent to minimize pain.

Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials

To drain the blood under the nail, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Sterile needle or pin
  • Cotton ball or gauze pad
  • Rubbing alcohol or antiseptic solution
  • Numbing agent (lidocaine or benzocaine)

Cleaning the Area around the Nail

Before you begin draining the blood, it’s crucial to clean the area around the nail. This helps prevent infection. You can clean the area using rubbing alcohol or an antiseptic solution.

Applying a Numbing Agent to Minimize Pain

Draining the blood can be painful, but you can minimize the discomfort by applying a numbing agent like lidocaine or benzocaine. Apply the numbing agent using a cotton ball or gauze pad.

Draining the Blood

Once you have assessed the severity of the injury and prepared for the process, it’s time to drain the blood. This involves sterilizing the nail and the surrounding area, creating a small hole in the nail, applying pressure to drain the blood, and ensuring the nail is adequately drained.

Sterilizing the Nail and Surrounding Area

Before you begin draining the blood, it’s crucial to sterilize the area. Use rubbing alcohol or an antiseptic solution to achieve this. Sterilizing the area helps prevent infection.

Creating a Small Hole in the Nail

To drain the blood, you need to create a small hole in the nail. Use a sterile needle or pin for this purpose. Gently insert the needle or pin into the nail, applying mild pressure until you feel a small pop. This indicates that you have punctured the nail, and the blood will start to drain.

Applying Pressure to Drain the Blood

After creating a small hole in the nail, gently apply pressure to the surrounding area. This facilitates the drainage of blood from under the nail. You can use a cotton ball or gauze pad to apply the pressure. Maintain gentle pressure for several minutes until the bleeding stops.

Ensuring Proper Drainage

After draining the blood under the nail, it’s essential to ensure that the nail is properly drained. Check for any remaining blood pooling under the nail. If blood is still present, you may need to repeat the process of creating a small hole and applying pressure until all the blood has completely drained.


Taking proper care of the area after draining the blood is essential to prevent infection and promote healing. This involves cleaning the area and applying a bandage, caring for the nail to avoid infection, and avoiding activities that could cause further injury.

Cleaning the Area and Applying a Bandage

After draining the blood, clean the area around the nail using rubbing alcohol or an antiseptic solution. Apply a bandage to protect the wound and promote healing. Remember to change the bandage daily and monitor the area for any signs of infection.

Caring for the Nail to Avoid Infection

To prevent infection, it’s crucial to take good care of the nail after draining the blood. Keep the nail clean and dry, and avoid wearing tight shoes or engaging in activities that could lead to further injury. If the nail is detached, refrain from pulling it off, as this can cause additional damage.

Avoiding Activities that Could Cause Further Injury

After draining the blood, it’s vital to avoid activities that could worsen the injury. This includes avoiding tight shoes, heavy lifting, and participating in sports or other activities that could traumatize the nail. Give the area ample time to heal properly.

Remember, draining blood from under a nail should only be done in minor cases. If your injury is severe or you have any doubts, it’s always best to seek medical advice.

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