• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

Smacked finger - Is there a way to keep nail from falling off?

 
steward
Posts: 4835
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1306
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I closed my hand in the door this morning.  I had gloves on and didn't think I squished my finger that bad but now the base of my fingernail is purple and the nail feels a bit numb.  I haven't lost a nail from this sort of bruise before but this feels a bit different.

I think I'm reaching for straws here but...  Is there some herbal magic that might be out there that I could apply to maybe keep the nail?
 
pollinator
Posts: 380
70
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not sure that you can save it from falling off if its damaged badly enough but a poultice of slippery elm bark/marshmallow root and some calendula will help the nail bed heal so that when the nail does eventually come off there will be a nascent nail awaiting its time to shine. I had a terrible toe stubbing incident last year that cost me my big toe nail and a poultice like this didn't save the nail but when i finally pulled the old nail off a week or so later there was a fairly well prepped new nail growing in under it so it wasnt super tender.

just checked with my wife (and nurse, so a busy lady) and she said she thinks she also added something antimicrobial like pau d arco to it, but mine was also only connected at the very base from immediately after the injury so a pretty big infection risk
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4835
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1306
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Stephen!  I anticipate the nail taking quite a while to fall off (if it does).  Did you use the poultice early or late in the process or on some frequency?
 
stephen lowe
pollinator
Posts: 380
70
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
used it starting pretty much immediately and at the beginning tried to keep it on for two extended sessions a day. Once it became clear that the nail was going either way I just tried to do it once every evening. If the damage is mostly at the base of the nail and you started it early I would think that there's a could chance you could save the nail and just end up, eventually, with a gnarly blood blister that would grow out with your nail.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4835
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1306
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks!  I'll see if I can find those ingredients.  We have calendula already...
 
stephen lowe
pollinator
Posts: 380
70
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marshmallow root should be locally available, or at least be able to be grown in your area. Not really sure where slippery elm bark comes from. Another antimicrobial that might be easier for you to find than pau d arco would be usnea, you might even be able to go pick some up in any local woods. If you don't have a decent local herb shop (if you do those would be the folks to talk to) the stuff that mountain rose herbs sells are high quality and they claim to strive for ethical sourcing. Other than pau d arco (I know next to nothing about this herb) these are all very sustainable and likely US grown ingredients
 
pollinator
Posts: 789
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
72
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If your medical arrangements include "call for advice" service, give them a call. Ask, as well, if the blood under the nail is the problem that's going to make the nail go away. If it is, the traditional way to get rid of the blood is to heat a thin long finishing nail (or some other thin metal poker) red hot on one end and push it through the finger nail in the center of the blood. The hot metal goes through the finger nail fairly easily; pull it out, leaving a hole that drains the blood. Lovely, huh? However, carpenters who should know told me it works. Time may be an issue - they did it w/in hours, as soon as the blood began to accumulate. They also said they needed to do it a couple times, depending.

Rufus

 
pioneer
Posts: 1104
Location: 4b
192
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As soon as it starts throbbing, you may want to put a hole in it as was mentioned.  I find the hot method more uncomfortable,  so i use a drill. Use a small very sharp bit that you  have washed in alcohol if you go that route.  If you're a real stud you could probably use a drill press 😊 I'm not,  so I turn the drill bit by hand slowly making a hole in the center of the blood area.  It hurts,  but at some point you will do anything to stop the throbbing.  Just keep drilling slowly until you make a hole all the way through.  You'll know when you're there because it will usually spray a foot  or more. After a couple hours,  it may throb again.  If it does,  it's because it clotted and the pressure is building.  You'll have to drill a new hole to relieve the pressure.  I've had bad ones that had to be drilled 4 or 5 times.  I always cover the hole with a bandage to keep junk out of it.  Putting honey in the hole keeps it from getting infected.  Good luck,  smashed fingers are not much fun.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4835
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1306
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That reminds me that when I was a kid I was closing the garage door.  Remember the days before garage door openers???  That's why people had 12 year old boys.  Anyway, I ran over to pull down on the handles.  Grabbed the lower one and pulled.  Reached for the upper handle and grabbed the gap between two of the door panels instead.  Just as it was closing...   That door went up a lot faster than it went down.

Trip to the urgent care with a very badly throbbing middle finger.  They drilled a hole and it was immediately better.  I didn't lose that nail.

This one hasn't throbbed and I didn't really whack it.  But it's sore when I touch it.  I'll try the drill trick.

FYI, using a drill press would be ill advised.  Once it gets through the nail, if it catches on the hole and tries to lift your finger, it's going deeper into your finger.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4835
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1306
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't even know I had a 3/64ths drill bit.  And it was new!  Rolled it with my fingers to drill through and got about one drop of blood.  Yay!
 
pollinator
Posts: 350
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
111
forest garden fish fungi trees food preservation cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's a nasty pain, had a couple, keeping it sterile is so important, a local beekeeper gave me propolis, dissolved in alcohol it makes for the best antiseptic sealant you can wish for. Bees produce it from medicinal plants to seal the hive with and keep microbes from entering. You put a drip on the spot and blow gently until the alcohol vaporized, leaving a thin layer of propolis, repeat until closed. It's flexible on a warm spot on the body but not sticky. Nasty cuts from jigsaw blades i treated with it, no infections, closed the deeper layered skin in three days while i kept working. It's nuts nurses don't use it more often. Maybe because people don't like the brown stainage which disappears within a few days.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4835
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1306
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Hugo, I'll have to get some from my bee buddies for next time.  Luckily this wasn't badly squished and it barely throbbed.  We typically use lavender ointment for cuts/injuries and especially burns.
 
Posts: 325
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
46
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I tried drilling a hole once.  I shut my finger in a car door on the way to work, then had to sit through a very long boring meeting with this throbbing nail... so I thought I'd try the drilling thing, with a tiny penknife I think it was.  So anyway, there I sat for some time, carefully twiddling away, thinking if it starts to hurt I'll just stop, half listening to the meeting.  Until I suddenly felt the room start to go a bit black round the edges and my hearing went distant and I had to be dragged out and have my head shoved between my knees... it was a bit embarrassing.
 
master steward
Posts: 9830
Location: Pacific Northwest
3782
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I once knew a man (he was not the sharpest bit in the set, so to speak) who smashed his finger. He used a huge bit to drill into his nail. The hole was a good cm or more in diameter. I still shudder when thinking about it!
 
pollinator
Posts: 8541
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
689
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have split a thumbnail twice. Both times I was doing something I shouldn't in my demolition business. The thumbnail was repaired in sort of the way you would do a fiberglass job. I put some clear nail polish, then a layer of tissue paper, then more polish, then more paper until I built a solid covering over the damaged nail. As it grew out, I used nail clippers on the nail and covering as well. This prevented a lot of pain and further injury.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4835
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1306
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So far it's been much better.  The nail now feels normalish so I can imagine it not falling off.  All I did was drill until I hit blood.  I used the tiniest new drill bit I had, wiped it down with rubbing alcohol and drilled it by twisting it between my fingers.  I never felt it but the drop of blood that came out indicated I went far enough.
 
pollinator
Posts: 501
Location: South of Capricorn
139
rabbit food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had to do this in mid october when i smashed my thumb in the car door. After a very bad weekend (visiting a friend out on his homestead in the mountains- spent 2 days with ice in my hand at all times, lots of wine, and still almost no sleep) I came home and did the hot pin thing and WHOAH did a lot of blood come out (it also was much less painful than I expected). But the pain was GONE after that. the fingernail didn't really fall off, it got ugly but the new nail grew right in. Today it is nearly all grown out and just fine. Amazing what the body can do!
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4835
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1306
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yup, if you have any throbbing, a pin or drill is well worth the trouble.  Now I'm just watching the black part grow out slowly...
 
pollinator
Posts: 710
Location: Central Virginia USA
48
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Dale, you remind me of the time I guillotined my finger with a heavy window that broke free of it's counterweight, took off the top half of the nail, and it immediately wanted to bulge out so  a pressure bandage had to be kept in place to keep it from swelling way up.

Later I tried using a false fingernail with the glue they give you for it, which did an amazing job. I bet if I had gone to the emergency room they wouldn't have done as good a job and charged me a hell of a lot of money I didn't have.

Today that nail is just a little shorter than it was, but hey, stuff happens  and it doesn't stop me from playing the fiddle :-)
 
Get off me! Here, read this tiny ad:
September-October Homestead Skills Jamboree 2019
https://permies.com/wiki/118704/permaculture-projects/September-October-Homestead-Skills-Jamboree
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!