Nail Bed Avulsion
What Does “Avulsion” Mean?
“Avulsion” means “To tear away from”, and a Nail bed Avulsion occurs when an injury causes someone to lose a fingernail or toenail. Partial nail bed avulsions usually heal in a matter of weeks, while a total loss of the nail can take up to 12-18 months to come back in.
To avoid complications such as infection, make sure to stay on top of scheduling appointments with your foot and ankle specialist.
How Do You Care for a Nail Bed Avulsion?
- Always follow your foot and ankle specialists instructions.
- Keep the foot propped up on a pillow when sitting or lying down for the first 3 days to reduce swelling.
- Keep any bandages or stitches dry for the first 24 to 48 hours. If you must take a shower, make sure to wrap the foot in a plastic bag.
- Patients can remove bandages and gently wash the area after the first 24 to 48 hours. Patients should gently wash the area 2 times a day to help avoid infections. Patients should still avoid completely submerging the nail or scrubbing the toe too hard.
- Patients can use a small amount of petroleum jelly and non-stick bandages. Reapply as needed.
- If applicable, do not remove stitches yourself. Your physician will set up an appointment to have them removed.
- Only take medication as directed. Ask your physician if you can use any over the counter medication.
- If on antibiotics, always take the full amount as directed until the prescription runs out, even if you feel better. Stopping antibiotics too early can cause a resurgence of infection and makes bacteria even more resistant to treatment.