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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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Exactly one month ago, I slammed my thumb into the car door.

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Exactly one month ago, I slammed my thumb into the car door. The bottom half of the nail immediately turned black which I assumed was blood or a bruise from the injury. Just today I noticed at the very bottom, where the cuticle would be the nail appears to cracked or separated horizontally. I really do not want to go to the doctor and have the nail removed or anything of that sort. Is it safe to leave it alone? It's not causing me pain anymore. I'm worried that the crack might somehow introduce bacteria into the nail bed or something? Does this mean that the nail is going to fall off? And if so will it grow back?

Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.


From what you are describing, you will most likely lose the nail. To protect it, and keep it from accidentally being ripped off (which can cause some damage to the nail bed), keep it covered with a bandaid. The nail will gradually detach, or grow out. Also, keep it trimmed short. Your new nail will be growing at the same time.


Clean the area with soap and water, as you would normally wash your hands or shower. As long as the nail bed remains intact, there should be no problems with infection.


If you do snag and cause some damage, clean the area thoroughly with soap and water and keep it covered. You should see a doctor if you develop some swelling, pain, redness, drainage, etc.

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