A subungual hematoma is a small collection of blood (hematoma) between the nail bed and the nail. It initially appears as a purple area but turns black after a few days. Subungual hematomas may result from a single injury to the nail or from chronic trauma and cause severe, throbbing pain. Despite this, the condition is not serious, and a variety of treatment options are available depending on the size of the hematoma.
Subungual hematomas can be caused by a single, acute injury that crushes the tip of the finger or toe, such as a blow from a hammer, the impact of a heavy object, or slamming the finger in a door. Repetitive trauma to the nail, such as ill-fitting shoes, can cause the injury over time. Athletes are particularly at risk, as the running motion forces the toes into the front of the shoe — this is sometimes called "runner's toe." Trauma to the nail bed causes the small blood vessels to bleed into the area underneath the nail.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.