Discoloration or Red Nails: Causes, diagnosis, Treatment

Hands | Dermatology | Discoloration or Red Nails (Symptom)

Discoloration or Red Nails: Description

Red or black nails may result from a hematoma (a collection of blood) under the nail as a result of trauma (including ingrown toenails).

Discoloration or Red Nails: Causes

Subungual hematoma occurs when trauma to the nail results in a collection of blood, or hematoma, under the nail. It may result from an acute injury or from repeated minor trauma such as running in undersized shoes.

Discoloration or Red Nails: Treatment and Diagnosis

Acute subungual hematomas are quite painful, and are usually treated by releasing the blood by creating a small hole in the nail. Drilling and thermal cautery are common methods for creating the hole. Thermal cautery is not used on acrylic nails because they are flammable.

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