Ripped fingernail: What should I do?

A ripped fingernail is considered as an excruciating injury. This injury has a variety of reasons such as jamming or striking the finger on hard surfaces. If the individual has long nails, it might catch on something, resulting to trauma to the fingernail and the nail bed.

Since nails could not be reattached, the area must be carefully treated to promote nail growth and prevent infection. Luckily, the fingernails grow rapidly. The growth is around 3 times fast than the toenails.


The edges of the ripped fingernail should be filed to prevent further tearing. Trim the loose part of the nail. With an emery board, smooth the rough edges. Once the nails start to grow, keep the edges filed to prevent another finger injury. Over time, the ripped area will disappear. Future tears can be prevented by properly cutting and filing the nails.


Having a torn fingernail puts one at high risk for infection if not properly treated.


After the nail has been trimmed and filed, immerse the fingers in warm water combined with a teaspoon of salt. This aids in cleaning the fingernails.

Immerse for up to 20 minutes at least 2-3 times daily. After immersing the ripped fingernail, allow to air dry prior the application of medication and bandage. This helps prevent infection by avoiding excess buildup of moisture around the nail.

Treatment for a ripped fingernail

Having a torn fingernail puts one at high risk for infection if not properly treated. Dab on an antibiotic ointment every day after soaking the nail.

Make sure that the hands are washed using an antibacterial soap before the application of the ointment. A clean cotton swab can also be used when applying the ointment. Once applied, cover the ripped fingernail using a clean bandage.


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