Toenail Injuries: When to Go to Urgent Care

If you are a member of the Mr. and Ms. Clumsy Club, you know all about toenail injuries. You methodically bang your toe on the corner of your bed each day, and you never miss a chance to catch your big toe on a door frame. Of course, you aren’t wearing shoes. So what’s the big deal? It happens all the time, and surely there are other parts of the body more susceptible to severe injury that we should be more worried about. Not so fast. Let’s discuss toenail injuries and when to go to urgent care.

Beyond Clumsinessperson with toe injury.

Although being clumsy can inflict untold pain on many, there are others who can sustain serious toenail injuries from playing sports or wearing the wrong shoes. Repeated trauma is probably one of the main types of injuries to toenails. This can happen to hikers, runners, or active athletes. 

Of course you can drop something heavy on your toe as well. Any of these injuries can cause a subungual hematoma or blood under the toenail. This happens when blood vessels under the nail break open and pool.

When to Seek Medical Care for a Toenail Injury

Premier Health Network in Chicago is ready to help with toenail injures you cannot treat at home. 

Get professional medical care in the following circumstances:

  • If the nail is cut or torn
  • If the bruise covers more than one quarter of the nail
  • If a toe is bent or distorted
  • If the blood underneath covers more than half the nail

Specialists at Premier Urgent Care will drain the blood under the nail to relieve the pressure. If the blood is not drained, it can lead to an infection. Draining the blood requires a sterile technique so any bacteria does not get into the wound or bloodstream.

Lest you think this is really not all that important, complications from an untreated laceration or any signs of bacterial infection on the soft tissue can infect the bones underneath. Once that happens and it gets into the bloodstream, you will need a course of antibiotics. 

Worst case scenario is you may need a partial digital amputation if the infection begins to spread.

Some Signs of Severe Trauma or Infection

Seek medical care if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain and inflammation
  • Redness
  • Subungual hematoma
  • Yellow, brown, green, red, or white discharge from the nail
  • Raised or thickened toenail
  • If the nail splits or reduces in size
  • Nail avulsion where the whole or part of a nail loosens and falls off

Special Cautions

If you have diabetes, neuropathy, or any condition affecting circulation or wound healing, do not wait to have an injured toenail examined. 

Visit our Urgent Care Today!

Visit Premier Urgent Care in Chicago for immediate treatment for any severe injury to a toenail. Don’t hesitate to call our office at (773) 891-2890 with any questions.

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