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Not for the SQUEEMISH: My fingernail fell off. Need some advice.

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Phatfish Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 05:45 PM
Original message
Not for the SQUEEMISH: My fingernail fell off. Need some advice.
Here's the background. About 2 months ago, I was at work and I got my middle finger (my most used finger :) ) slammed between two large pieces of steel deck plating. It basicall slammed my nail and lower finger and from the day after until now it has been black and blue from dried up blood underneath. I thought I would just wait until the nail grew the "bad" part off much like my nails have done with blemishes in the past. Today I was trimming my nails and while trimming that middle nail, half of it seperated from the nail bed. It did not hurt at all and I decided to cut off the parts that had seperated. Now I have half a nail (half of that is still dark) and half a growing nailbed. Anyone had any experience with such a predicament? I can post a picture if you need one. I just want to know if I should go see a doctor or just wait it out.
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OrdinaryTa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Go to a Doctor
Don't risk an infection. See a doctor and be safe.
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I AM SPARTACUS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Sounds a bit routine for a physician...
...if you have an infirmary at work, see someone there. Otherwise, you can probably wing it yourself...

The bruise is in the tissue under the nail, not the nail itself (you probably realise this but you'd be surprised at what people don't notice...). If the skin is broken, put some triple antibiotic ointment on it and cover with a bandaid. If the skin is not broken, maybe you'll want to use a bandaid to keep the nail from tearing loose. If you get your hands wet and/or dirty alot, go to the drugstore and get a finger cott - sorta a condom for your finger.

And hey - if you're moving steel plates around at work, chances are that your co-workers have experienced this sorta thing with fingers & toes...ask around...

About the photos - post one just so we can all go "eeeewwwwwww..."

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Phatfish Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. you all got off this time
I would post a picture but I realized I let my brother and his wife use my digital camera for the week. Consider yourselves lucky!


"EWWWWWWWWW!" - Killer, my cat
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I AM SPARTACUS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. my own photos include, among other interesting things ...
Edited on Tue Jul-15-03 06:20 PM by I AM SPARTACUS
never mind
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ianbruce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. Direct trauma to one or more fingers.
Edited on Tue Jul-15-03 05:57 PM by ianbruce
Definition:
Direct trauma to one or more fingers.

Alternative names
Finger(s) - smashed; Crushed digits

Considerations:
If an injury to a finger occurs at the tip and does not involve a joint, the help of a doctor may not be needed. Even if the bone is broken, a splint may not necessarily be recommended by the doctor.

Causes:
Finger(s) can be smashed by a hammer blow, a car door, a desk drawer, a baseball, or some other force.

Symptoms:
Finger pain
Swelling
Loss of fingernail
Discoloration or bruising of the finger or fingernail


Nail Regrowth:
The first growth is usually growing while the root is still repairing itself and isn't always a look you want to see at all. Give it about 6 months (on a finger that is about 4 new nails worth of growth across your nail bed)

See: http://fingernailcare.com/forum/data/273.html
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Phatfish Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. so...
the soft nail that was growing underneath is the first "growth"? I don't mind waiting 6 months but now I will have to wear a bandaid on my finger when I go out. It doesn't look pretty :) This is exactly what I wanted to be discussing on my 200th post; fingernail regrowth. Thanks for the input guys. I am gonna see about a doctor's appointment later in the week.
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. I sliced the tip of my finger including the nail bed,
cleanly half way through, didn't even bleed much. I was making french onion soup and hadn't sharpened the knife before slicing the onions... I had to pull the knife out! LOL!

So for MONTHS while I waited for the nail to grow out, I had to keep a dab of rubber cement on the nail cut to keep it from catching on things. It was UUUUUUGLY. And I'm a dainty gal with well kept nails on fingers and toes! Very frustrating, but oddly, few people noticed and I didn't make a big deal of it... Wasn't quite as dramatic as having my hand impaled on a 2 foot sliver of glass... and having to yank it OFF.

Hmm. that didn't bleed either. Mebbe I'm a good clotter!

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. I just lost two toenails
Edited on Tue Jul-15-03 06:07 PM by alfredo
No pain with either one. Just keep it clean and if it shows signs of infection, then see a doctor. One toenail came loose just as yours did, leaving half a nail. It now looks fine, is playing well with others, and is learning to play the clarinet.

Let's make a deal, you don't show a picture of the nail, and I will not make you listen to my nail playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the clarinet.
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Phatfish Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. its a deal
not that I am opposed to the clarinet
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ianbruce Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Good advice.
"Just keep it clean, and if it shows signs of infection, then see a doctor."
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comradebillyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. that is normal an new nail will continue to grow
i have had the experience a couple of times. also, to relieve the pain and pressure of the blood under the fingernail do the following:
1. straighten a paperclip
2. heat one end of the clip till its red, using a lighter not made in france
3. burn thriugh the nail quickly.
your finger already hursts so much that you wont notice the paperclip
4. blood will spurt thru the little hole and the pain will dramatically decrease.

i am not a doctor of medicine, but i did sleep at a cheap motel last night.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. one of these days finger nail, I'm gonna punch you in the face.
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. Are you a man or a woman?
Once, both my big toenails fell off (I had just taken up jogging, and they were slightly too long for that activity - they kept hitting the shoe, and then both toes got bruised and the nails fell off.) I painted the toes with pink nail polish till the nails grew back in, which both did in due course.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. it happened to me, it will grow back, in time, a LOT of time
Several years ago, I lost three nails down to the quick in a tragic acrylic nail accident. Two of them grew back fine. The third, on my thumb, never grew back so that it sat right in the nail bed. Instead, it was raised up a little, so it kept catching on things and getting ripped off over and over again.

Finally, one day about 18 months ago, the entire nail once again ripped out so far that there did not seem to be any root, even underneath the quick. (I poked and picked at the skin on my thumb to be sure, I'm afraid.) Since I had once read the people who had their nails torn out by torturers never got their nails back, I was a bit depressed. I assumed it would never grow back. What I did was, if I had to do heavy work or was just knocking around the house, I would keep a bandage around the missing thumb nail. And, when I was going somewhere nice, I would glue an artificial nail onto my thumb, right on the skin, using superglue. It wouldn't last more than a day or two usually, but it was better than having no nail at all.

After about a month or so, I noticed a tiny hint of new nail coming in under the artificial nail! I then stopped putting on the artificial nail, because I was afraid the use of the glue would cause the new nail growing in to get torn off if I had another accident. I just kept a bandaid on my thumb. And, in about two more months, I had a completely restored fingernail, and it actually sits correctly in the nail bed, and I never catch it on anything or have pain any more.

I don't think a doctor would have done anything any different, although I suppose she could have billed my insurance company for a few bucks for looking at it. Just don't get stressed. I was having nightmares about never having a nail there again. I guess it sounds silly. But it was not a very restful experience.
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. FX Emo Phillips......
"My girlfriend is mad at me because I said she looked sexy with black fingernails..........and now she thinks I deliberately slammed the car door on her hand."

:evilgrin:

Hope it gets better soon!

P.
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Phatfish Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-15-03 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. thanks guys
thanks for all you advice, both for the helpful and weird. Yes, I am a guy and I have already beeen getting a lot of guff from people calling me a goth because they saw my black finger nail and thought it was nail polish. The half that is now gone actually looks better than the half that is a mix between black and regular pink/pearl color. I feel glad I do not work in the food service industry any more. I would be horrified if my server handed me me food with only half a freaky nail. ::Shudder:: It would be like Chris Elliot's hand in Scary MOvie 2. Ewwwww!



P.S. I'll keep you all up to date with pictures of the growth progress.


P.P.S. I think I won't do that, now :)
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-03 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
17. I slammed a thumb in the car door one time.
I had to dig the car keys out of my purse to unlock the door so I could get my hand out, BTW.

I went to a Dr. and all they did was drill a hole in my nail to drain off the blood. It propmtly plugged up. I took a big load of painkillers that night and fell asleep with the hand on a pillow and the cat next to it. I woke up to blood all over the pillow, my hand and the cat...

A short while later (couple weeks I think) I noticed some icky fluid leaking out around the bottom of the black nail. A couple weeks later, it flopped up and exposed the new nail that had started to grow in. I wore a bandaid for a while and finally got it grown out enough that I could cut off the old nail. I had half a fingernail for a bit, but it did finally grow back all the way.

Today, many years later, the nail is fine, looks normal. The only thing I've ever noticed is that the nail has some ridges in it that it didn't have before.

To whoever posted the advice about drilling the hole with a hot paperclip--THANK YOU! I never want to go thru that other thing again. That stupid Dr. used something that looked like a little power drill on my thumb and it hurt like hell--a whole lot worse than the thumb in the car door did. I'm filing that info away in case of need in the future.

Laura


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number9 Donating Member (271 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-03 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
18. I'm a wait it out kind of guy
if it doesn't hurt, and you don't have loss of movement - give it time.
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inthecorneroverhere Donating Member (842 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-16-03 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
19. just don't apply for a job as a 'hand model'
You know when some stores take photos for their advertising of hands using tools or whatever.

If you keep it clean and eat healthy, the nail should grow back in a matter of months. You might sort of make sure you get a multivitamin or at least some vitamin C every day.

I had something like this myself a while back and eventually the thing grew back. Needless to say, I had to forego any potential income modeling jewelry and such. :silly: :silly: :silly:
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