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Got finger injury. Noticed swelling and black nail. How to get rid of pain?

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Practicing since : 2003
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Hello, I have hurt my finger my car door and my nail is black and swollen and hurts so bad that I can not sleep. What can I take for the pain? Thanks
Mon, 10 Dec 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 25 minutes later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

I'm sorry to hear that you are in severe pain due to your finger injury. It appears that you have developed a "hematoma" - a localized blood collection / clot - due to the crush injury.

Here's what I would suggest:
- You can take Ibuprofen tablets (available over the counter as Advil or Motrin) to reduce the pain and inflamation. The dosage would be 400 mg, two to three times a day, to be take only after meals.

- In addition, you can try frequent cold fermentations to reduce the swelling and inflamation. When sleeping, keep the injured hand elevated on a pillow so that the fluid collection reduces and you don't accidentally injure it more.

- It may take 2 to 3 days for the swelling to subside fully and another 1 to 2 weeks for the discolouration to change. In the meantime, if at any time you develop any redness or excessive warmth or pus discharge from the nail bed or surrounding area, then you have to see a doctor immediately.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Got finger injury. Noticed swelling and black nail. How to get rid of pain? 3 minutes later
Thank you, do you think that my nail will fall? Can I sleep with my hand covered in ice? Does it help reduce the pain? I do not have any medication available right now...
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 59 minutes later
Hello again,

There is a 50-50 chance that your nail will fall. If the blood collection is right under the origin of the nail (i.e. at the base of the nailbed), then there are more chances that the nail may fall off.

It's better not to keep your hand covered in ice for prolonged periods continuously, since it may hinder the blood supply. Rather, keep giving frequent ice fermentations.

The medication which I have suggested should be available over-the-counter in supermarkets and you don't need a prescription for them. They are not expensive also.

Best wishes,
Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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