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  • Partial nail separation - how to remove?

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    Old 10-22-2007, 07:44 AM   #1
    jwsbikerbear
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    Question Partial nail separation - how to remove?

    I recently injured my thumb, resulting in a subungual hematoma. I put up with the pain for about 28 hours, then broke down and went to the emergency room for treatment, X-rays, the works. The pressure under the nail was relieved and everything is fine.

    It is now over 2 weeks later and, despite all of my care, the nail has partially separated from the nail bed. The problem is that this separation is at the cuticle end of the nail, not the thumb-tip end. When I apply pressure on the end of the nail with my index finger, I can lever the cuticle end of the nail complelety up and away from the nail bed - but the rest of the nail, from mid-nail to the thumb-tip is still securely fastened to the nailbed. All efforts I have made to try to manually peel the nail the rest of the way off the bed have been so painful that I stopped trying. I have been keeping the nailbed clean and I have been covering the nail with a bandage and Neosporin. Having the ragged, cuticle end of the nail loosely intermingled with the cuticle has just been a bit uncomfortable.

    Am I correct in assuming that the nail is a lost cause and that it just needs to come off?

    What is the best way to get the nail to separate the rest of the way off of the nailbed?

     
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    Old 10-22-2007, 05:35 PM   #2
    Marti
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    Re: Partial nail separation - how to remove?

    You need to leave it alone! Do not apply a bandaid, but use plain gauze instead. Bandaids will allow too much moisture to build up in the skin and under the nail and you can end up mascerating the injury. Instead, clean it with peroxide to keep it dry and to prevent infection. Also, forget the antibiotic ointment as it will also keep it too wet.

    Do not continue to to try and peel away the attached portion of the nail plate. Thisis the only protection you have for the delicate tissues of the underlying nail bed. Do not continue to lift the nail up at the cuticle. Tie a piece of gauze around the injured portion of the nail to protect it. If you continue to try to tear off the attached portion of nail plate, you can cause permanent injury to the underlying nail bed and the nail may never grow across the injured portion.

    A new nail will form in the matrix and will eventualy push the damaged portion off the distal edge of the nail bed. This can take about 6 months depending on your genetics for nail growth.

     
    Old 10-22-2007, 09:04 PM   #3
    jwsbikerbear
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    Re: Partial nail separation - how to remove?

    I could not have asked for more informative, concise, and authoritative advice. I will follow your directions to the letter. Thank you!

     
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