First Aid/Hole in Nail


hole in nail
hole in nail  
About 10 days ago I got a hole in the base of my nail by the cuticle. I have a small pea sized swollen bulb poking out and it is PAINFUL. I try to leave it uncovered to dry out as my Dr. told me to but it gets brushed and hurts. How can I get the swelling to go down. I'm afraid my nail won't grow back since it is down by the cuticle. HELP!

Hello Sandy,

I's sorry to say that I don't have a good option to make the bulb go away (your doctor may be a better one to ask about treatment for that). The injury looks like it isn't into the nail root which is where the nail "grows from" so I'm pretty confident the nail will continue to grow normally. You could try loosely wrapping the finger with a bulky gauze roll to pad it, though depending on the type of work you do that may not be an option either?

Talk with your doctor more about how to remove that bulb... maybe drainage or freezing or electro-cautery? (I'm only guessing at options... it's really up to your doctor).

I hope you get relief soon,


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Marcus LaBarbera


I am available to answer most questions related to: first aid, pre- hospital medicine, EMT and Paramedic questions, medical transport, critical care transport, ICU/CCU care, sedation, and medicine in general.


I have worked as a NYS Paramedic since 1993 for both community based ambulance companies and large commercial agencies. I Have experience as bike team commander, and shift supervisor for a commercial ambulance. As a member of the Disaster team I was deployed to Louisiana for 20 days following hurricane Katrina. I worked along side the county Haz-Mat team as a "Tox-Medic" with advanced training in treating injuries from chemical agents. Besides my experience on the on the ambulance I have worked in a number of hospital based offices including dialysis and a sleep lab.

I started my EMS career as a NYS CFR (Certified First Responder)in 1989, an EMT in 1991, a Paramedic since 1993, and a CCU transport paramedic since 2005. I currently hold certification as a: NYS Paramedic, Critical Care Transport Paramedic, ACLS/CPR/PALS certified. Advanced Haz-Mat Life Support certified (AHLS). In the past I have taught CPR and ACLS to my coworkers and the local community.

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