Whether caused by stubbing your toe, dropping something on your foot, or running in shoes that are too tight, bleeding under your toenail can not only be painful, but also unnerving. It's important that you deal with this issue properly to avoid more serious side effects. Here are some dos and don'ts to abide by.
Do: Seek medical care if there's a possibility of more serious injury.
The presence of blood under your toenail may cause feelings of pressure and discomfort. But if there's serious pain when you press on the area, or if you cannot bend your toe, there's a good chance you've broken your toe in addition to having drawn blood. Seek medical treatment from a podiatrist at a clinic like Mid Nebraska Foot Clinic or the emergency room. There's not a lot to be done for a broken toe, but your doctor may apply a splint to make walking more comfortable and prescribe pain relievers to make the recovery process easier.
Don't: Attempt to drain the blood yourself.
In most cases, there's no need to drain the blood from beneath the nail. The bleeding should stop shortly, and then the blood will dry up, eventually coming to the surface as your toenail grows out. If the pressure is absolutely unbearable, you can visit your podiatrist and have the blood drained professionally. Doing this yourself is just opening the door to infections and permanent nail damage that may cause your nail to grow irregularly for years.
Do: Apply ice to ease your discomfort.
Applying ice to the toe will serve two purposes. It will help numb the area so it's not so painful. It will also help alleviate any inflammation in the tissues beneath the toenail, which will leave more room for the blood and help alleviate that under-pressure feeling you're dealing with. If holding ice against your toe is hard, just dunk your whole foot in a bucket of ice water for about 10 minutes at a time.
Don't: Keep wearing shoes that put pressure on your toe.
If you wear shoes that put pressure on the injured toe, you may keep disturbing the bleeding tissues, leading to more bleeding. For at least a week after your initial injury, stick to open-toed shoes or shoes with a wide toe box.
Once the blood under your toenail dries up, it will turn black. If the injury was more severe, you may lose the toenail. If this happens, just keep the area clean and protected until the nail grows back over it.