A bruised toenail in medical terms is known as ‘subungual hematoma’. It means bleeding under the nail. This occurs due to any damage caused to the underlying soft tissues, nail bed or the bones.1
They can occur due to various reasons, and their severity depends on the part that has been affected.
A bruised toenail can be extremely painful, for its size but otherwise is not a severe condition. It is also known as runner’s toe, tennis toe or skier’s toe.
If you are suffering from the same, we have a list of home remedies to help you get rid of bruised toenail quickly.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bruised Toenail
1.Wear Proper Shoes
Consider wearing open shoes till the toenails heal. Also wear shoes bigger than your regular size to allow more room for your toenails and is result faster healing.
2. Proper Rest
Take rest and do not strain your injured toenail by walking long distances or standing for long hours.
3. Take Care
Cut your toenails as short as possible and make sure the edges are flat than curved to avoid ingrown toenails. Keep your foot elevated to reduce the throbbing sensation.
Make a splint for the affected toenail. Do not pull out the nail if it has been detached partially from the nailbed.Wear bandages to cover the wound. Keep the affected area dry and clean to prevent further infections.
4. Epsom Salt
It can ease the bruised toenail pain effectively and also lead to faster healing.
- In a tub add lukewarm water and 4-5 tablespoons of Epsom salt.
- Soak your feet in warm salt/Epsom salt water for good 10 minutes. Do it thrice a day.
- Prefer, following it up with a topical antibiotic cream to avoid infections.
Ice water reduces inflammation, stops bleeding, and avoids blue-black discoloration of your nails.
- In a tub fill water and add ice to it.
- Place your affected toe in the tub or your entire foot for 10 minutes. Do it twice a day for maximum releif.
6. Fuller’s Earth
It helps reduce inflammation and keeps the affected area cool.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of Multani mitti with rose-water and prepare a paste.
- Apply this mixture to your entire toe.
- Keep it for good half an hour and then wash it off. This is an effective bruised toenail treatment.
7. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil has heat inducing properties that reduce inflammation. Massaging mustard oil around the affected toe helps relieve the bruised toenail pain.
Take 1 teaspoon of mustard oil and apply it gently all over your toenail to fasten the healing time. Do it twice or thrice a day.
It is a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, and has lots of wound healing properties. It will surely decrement the bruised toenail healing time by reducing the swelling and chances of further infection.
- Take 1 teaspoon of turmeric and add water to it to form a paste.
- Apply the paste of turmeric on the affected area topically.
- Let it be like that. However, if you wish too you can wash it after half an hour.
- Do it before going to bed for faster relief from bruised toenails
9. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is another such antibiotic and antiseptic that can be applied on the toenail for symptomatic relief.
- Rub a slice of lemon on the bruised toenail.
- Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Don’t forget to dry the area thoroughly.
10. Lavender Oil
It has antiseptic properties that can ward off any infections on the bruised toenail.2
- Mix few drops of this to any choice of carrier oil and apply using a cotton ball to the affected area.
- Leave it for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
11. Oil Of Oregano
Oil of oregano has numerous properties. Its antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic and antifungal properties can heal a bruised toenail quickly.
- Mix 2 drops of this oil in one teaspoon of any choice of carrier oil
- Apply this onto the affected area.
- Leave it for 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Don’t forget to keep the area dry.
12. Orange Oil
Orange Oil has antifungal properties that can treat infected toenails and prevent future toenail infections.
- Apply this oil using a dropper to your toenail.
- Mix it with a carrier oil or dilute it if you have sensitive skin.
- Leave it for around 30 minutes
- wash it off and pat dry.
13. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is mildly acidic and can kill bacteria and fungi preventing your toenails from further bacterial or fungal infections.
- Mix equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar and soak your toes for 30 minutes daily.
- After a few weeks, you will notice the improvement in your toenail injury.
14. Tea Tree Oil
It has antiseptic properties which can heal your bruised toenail.
- Mix a few drops of tea tree oil along with one teaspoon of coconut or olive oil and use a ball of cotton to apply on the affected area.
- Leave it for 20-15 minutes.
- Prefer scrubbing it with a toothbrush gently at the affected area to release the blood.
Arnica is a homeopathic natural substance to heals bruises. It is an anti-inflammatory that speeds up the time taken by the wound for healing.3
It is available in cream or gel form. You can use any of it depending on the availability.
16. Coconut Oil
It is widely used for dermal infections and can reduce the symptoms of a bruised toenail.
- Take a cotton swab, dip it in the coconut oil.
- Apply the oil with the help of the swab all over your toenail.
- It is an instant method to get rid of a bruised toenail.
Honey is an antibacterial agent and soothing agent. Its application will give you relief against pain, irritation, and will reduce the risk of infections.
- With a cotton swab apply honey all over the affected toenail.
- Let it remain for 20 minutes and then wash it off with water.
The above remedies must be considered if there is no formation of pus or any serious infection
Additionally, if the symptoms last longer than a week in spite of these remedies, you must consult the doctor immediately.
Bruised Toenail Healing Time
The exact amount of time taken to heal the wound depends on the severity of the bruise and how it has occurred.
In case the bruised toenail comes off the nail bed, make sure not to pluck it as it might lead to several other complications and infections.4 This will increase the time taken by it for healing. Let it fall on its own. It might take several months for another nail to grow back at its place. So keep the area clean and protect the nailbed with a bandage.
Generally, after falling off, most toenails grow back in 3-6 months, so there is no need to worry, especially if your wound has healed well.
If the bruised toenail fell off right away, protect the area. Give it enough time to heal on its own. With time a new toenail will slowly grow in the area of the bruised toenail on its own.
As it has been stated rightly, prevention is always better than a cure. You can always prevent future incidents of a bruised toenail.
The following points will help reduce such incidents from happening:
- Toe pads and gel pads provide extra cushioning top your toes, thus helping in the prevention of bruises.
- Keep your toenails short and cut them regularly.
- Always buy shoes that fit properly.
- For running, choose shoes bigger than your regular size to prevent toenail bruises
- Wear the right type of socks to avoid odor and slipping of feet inside the shoes, as they can cause infections and bruises.
Causes Of Bruised Toenail
Listed below are the most common causes of a bruised toenail.
Trauma caused by a blunt object, for example, a man who stubbed his toe may end up with a bruised toenail. When a person slams his toe against a hard substance, the impact induces bruising of the skin under the toenail.
ii. Other Activities Such As Running Or Dancing
Running or dancing involves the repetitive use of a toenail causing repetitive trauma and leading to bruises. Runners while training intensely can bruise their toenail due to repetitive trauma the toenails are subjected to.
iii. Accidents, Which Can Include Those Of Sports Or Vehicular Or Any Others
While playing sports like football, when a player kicks the ball, he exerts pressure over his toenails thus inducing bruises.
iv. Walking Barefoot
People who walk barefoot have higher chances of sustaining injuries as their skin may come under direct contact with sharp or hard objects, thus causing injuries internally within the nail.
v. Hiking Or Climbing Along A Rugged Terrain
Hiking along uneven terrains causes trauma to your toes, leading to rupturing of your blood vessels and thus bleeding within your nails.
vi. Hurting Your Toe While Closing A Door:
Sometimes, when the door slams against your toe, it causes bleeding under the toenail due to the impact and induces toenail bruise.
vii. Dropping A Heavy Object On Your Toe
Dropping heavy items, by accident can lead to internal injuries within your nail, making it appear bluish-black due to the bursting of blood vessels.
viii. Use Of Anticoagulants
Few anticoagulants, such as warfarin have been known to induce such conditions.
ix. Wearing Smaller Shoes
Smaller shoes reduce the space available for your toenails, inducing a lot of stress to them and causing a blackened toenail.
x. Long Untrimmed Nails
Nails can be a nuisance and pain if they aren’t cut regularly. Long nails can reduce the space available in your shoes and can cause stress due to the thrusting of the nails against the shoe.
xi. Internal Infections
Internal infections play an important role in the formation of a bruised toenail.
Pus pockets, formed due to infections can lead to bruises within the toenails. Fungal infections cause the hardening and blackening of your toenail. Thus it leads to the bruising of your nail.
xii. Hot Weather Increases The Chances Of Getting One
Temperature also influences the chances of bruising your toe. More the temperature means more pressure. Thus more flow of fluid thus increases the chances of rupturing of a blood vessel in a toenail.
Symptoms Of Bruised Toenail
The symptoms of a bruised toenail vary from person to person and can be mild or intense. They can be:
- A cut in the nail bed
- Bluish-black discoloration: caused by the rupturing of blood vessels, and leakage of blood into soft tissues.
- Throbbing pain caused by the pressure of the blood that is collecting between the nail and nail bed
- Tenderness and swelling of the affected toenail.
- Sometimes, even a fracture of the bone underlying the region.
NOTE: few of these symptoms can also indicate other ailments.
- Splinter hemorrhages occurring near lunula may be indicative of endocarditis.
- Darkened areas or discolorations under a nail can indicate tumors if it stays in the same spot.
- It can even indicate fungal growth. Fungal infections turn the nail darker and thicken the nails.
Severe bruises to your nails need immediate assessment and treatment by a doctor.
If you experience the following symptoms, you need to visit your doctor/podiatrist right away:
- Severe pain that doesn’t go away with painkillers
- Fever, tingling sensations of the toe
- Blue or grey discoloration near the toenail
- Bleeding in other areas such as nosebleed, bloody urine, and stool
- Sore, redness and open wound developing in the affected area
Consequences Of Bruised Toenail
Bruised toenails are painful and can limit your productivity. They can be as simple as this or may lead to more serious complications if not taken care of, properly. It can end up as an ugly sight if not treated immediately.
Warm moist shoes provide a suitable environment for bacterial growth. Few infections associated with this include Paronychia, felon, etc. Fungal growth is one more important consequence of watching out for.
If the bruised toenails are not treated soon, there are chances that your nail might fall off from the nail bed.
Besides, if the bruised toenail occurred due to a severe blow, you also may have broken bones and serious damage to tissues or nail beds.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Bruised Toenail
Your doctor will examine your injury and most likely take an X-ray to confirm or rule out a fracture or other injuries (In case of a severe blow). Sometimes even a dermoscopy or biopsy is performed to examine the nail.
In most cases, your doctor will reduce the symptoms by draining blood and excess fluids. First, your doctor will sterilize your toe and make a tiny puncture in the bruised area. Then, this area is lightly squeezed to release excess fluid and blood.
Removal of the nail is also carried out if your nail has been partially removed from its position. Once the nail returns to normal, your doctor will suggest a few antibiotics and cover your wound.
How To Keep Your Nails Healthy?
Toenails are made up of tough proteins. They grow as fast as your hair does. They require about 3-6 months to completely grow back to normal. Once the nail cells die, they do not grow back.
The texture and color of your toenails are indicative of your overall health.
Toenails, just like any other part of your body must be well taken care of.
Given below are a few home treatments to keep your nails healthy:
- Cut your nails straight to avoid the growth of ingrown nails.
- Cut slices of lemons and rub them against your nails, especially in the nail beds. This can help strengthen them.
- Get nail services and treatments from professionals. Maintain them neatly and regularly.
- Avoid clippers that have been used by others to cut your toenails.
- Eat fresh food consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Avoid smoking, as tar and nicotine can accumulate under your nails when you smoke.
A bruised toenail is a common condition affecting many people, especially to athletes and joggers. It’s not a cause of worry as in most cases it goes on its own or with the help of home remedies.
Nevertheless, if your bruised toenail is at a risk of developing an infection then, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible to avoid future complications.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Bindra RR. Management of Nail-bed Fracture-lacerations Using a Tension-Band Suture. J Hand Surg Am. 1996;21:1111–3.|
|2.||↑||Bakkali F., Averbeck S., Averbeck D., Waomar M. (2008). Biological effects of essential oils-A review. Food Chem. Toxicol. 46, 446–475.|
|3.||↑||Ernst E, Pittler MH. Efficacy of homeopathic arnica. Arch Surg 1998; 133: 1187-90.|
|4.||↑||Scioli M, Sammarco GJ. Managing Toenail Trauma. 1991.|