Blood Clots Under Fingernails Causes: How To Get Rid Of It At Home?

Blood clot under the fingernail or toenail in medical terminology is called subungual hematoma. It is formation of blood clot between the finger nail and the nail bed. Mainly an injury to the nail is responsible for formation of blood clot. It is usually a crush injury. The condition is extremely painful as the clot generates pressure between the nail and nail bed.

The pain is throbbing in nature. The affected fingertip is tender to touch. After few hours you will have red or dark black discoloration under the nail. Sometimes the pain may be due to a fracture of the bone that lies under the nail or an abrasion in nail bed.

A clot may develop under your nail when you accidentally hit a hammer on the nail or if your finger gets crushed between the door and panel while closing the door. If the clot is small with very negligible pain, leave the clot to get absorbed on its own. However, sometimes the pain is distressing due to large amount of pooled blood, in such cases you may have to take proper treatment to alleviate pain.

Diagnosis Of Blood Clots Under Nails

Blood clot under fingernail is obvious on observation. In majority of cases there is recent history of trauma on the fingernail.

You may find a red dot underneath the nail. If the clot is large and occupies large space between the nail and nail bed, patient may complain of throbbing and pulsating pain in this area.

However, even though the injury is minor your doctor may recommend X-ray of finger to rule out fracture of the bone below the nail. X-ray may not give any information about the clot. The nail is evaluated for any cuts and abrasions and for intact nail margins.

How To Get Rid Of Blood Clots Under Fingernail?

The best way is to prevent formation of blood clot under the fingernails by remaining careful all the time. Of course it is easy to say, but difficult to always follow. Minor accidents do happen. If blood gets pooled under the nail, follow these simple steps to remove the clot and alleviate pain.

A small clot may not need any treatment as it resolves in few days. You can try following tips.

  • Keep your affected finger in flowing tap water for 10 minutes soon after the injury.
  • Ice fomentation for 5 minutes will help the clot to stabilize. Bleeding will reduce and thus there will be only a small clot under the nail. Follow it again after 30 minutes.
  • Keep the finger elevated. Elevation will reduce the blood flow to the finger which will reduce the size of clot.
  • If you are not able to get ice or water, simple pressure on the affected nail will prevent excess oozing of blood and reduce the size of clot.
  • Take few frozen peas and corn kernels in a cloth and wrap it around the tip of finger. It does the same function of ice.
  • Take few Epsom crystals and dissolve it in water. Soak the affected finger in Epsom salt water. It is effective in reducing the swelling and reduces the size of clot.
  • In case the nail is removed due to injury and the nail bed is still intact, soak your finger in a solution prepared by mixing antibacterial lotion and water for few minutes daily. Remove your finger from the solution and dry it with a clean cloth. Apply antibacterial ointment over it and wrap it with sterile gauze and bandage. Follow the procedure daily. It may take 8 to 10 days for the blood clot to resolve.

If the clot covers the large area under the nail you may have to seek medical attention. The health care provider will drain the blood with the help of sterile needle or other medical instruments.


  1. AZ said:

    What happens if we just leave the injured nail without seeking any medical treatment? Will it grow into a new one with time. The nail is not painful?

    January 15, 2015
    • PUP said:

      Recovery from the injury will depend on how severe the nail has been injured. If the injury is mild, the nail will grow without any radical treatment. You have to just take care that it does not cause infection in the nail. Regular cleaning with an anti septic solution and applying antibacterial ointment will be enough. However, if the injury is extensive, you may have to consult your physician. After examining, he will recommend further line of treatment.

      January 16, 2015
  2. MY said:

    Can I remove a blood clot that has formed under my nail? Is it safe if I remove it?

    May 20, 2015
    • PUP said:

      Avoid removing the blood clot on your own. Because there is possibility of infection if you do not use sterilized instruments. Also the safe way to remove the clot is after taking all aseptic measures. Let your physician do the work. They have all instruments as well as they know proper technique of removing it.

      May 22, 2015
  3. Chari said:

    I have a large blood clot that is covering the whole nail bed and the area under the nail. At times it is very painful, especially when it is hit even slightly. Any suggestions What should I do to get rid of it?

    April 6, 2016
  4. HS said:

    I have a clot under my toe nail and since two days puss has developed. It is very painful. What must I do?

    November 30, 2017
  5. PB said:

    I had hit my left foot on the wall one month back. Today I noticed a small blood clot under the nail of two toes. There was no pain when I hit the wall. Even today I am not experiencing any pain but I am much worried as I am diabetic patient and taking insulin injection. What must I do?

    May 21, 2018
    • PUP said:

      Blood clots under finger and toe nail after an injury to finger and toe is very common. In majority of cases the blood dissipates over a period of time. Person may need medicine to alleviate pain. Since you are diabetic, it is very important to control your blood sugar. Stop eating any sugary food. Exercise daily and take your anti diabetic medicine as prescribed to control your blood sugar. Usually the clot will resolve on its own. But you have to monitor daily. If you have pain or swelling in the toe you must consult your doctor immediately. Turmeric has natural anti inflammatory properties. Mix a pinch of turmeric powder in one glass of warm milk. Drink this glass once in a day for few days. It will help to resolve the clot soon.

      August 7, 2018
  6. CT said:

    My toe got crushed and it has turned purple. I did not pay much attention and started walking. But now it hurts a lot. I tried to alleviate pain by keeping ice cubes and applying turmeric. I do not want to poke a hole in my nail to remove the blood. Tell me what must I do?

    June 14, 2018
    • PUP said:

      Turmeric and cold application are right measures that you are following. Both will help to reduce inflammation and pain. But if the pain is unbearable, consult your doctor. He will prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine. This will help to alleviate the pain. Do not try to remove the blood clot on your own. Let your doctor decide after examining your nail and toe.

      August 2, 2018

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