It’s every woman’s worst nightmare. After getting those beautifully done acrylic nails you’ve wanted so much, you have an accident. You hit your acrylic nail, and it hurts.
It’s a scenario that almost every artificial nail enthusiast worries about. But is hitting an acrylic nail after getting it done really that disastrous? And what should you do if you accidentally hit your acrylic nails and it hurts?
Read on, and we’ll explain what you need to know.
Why does it Hurt When I Hit my Acrylic Nails?
While hitting your acrylic nails after getting them done can be very concerning, in most cases, a slight hit shouldn’t cause significant damage to your acrylic nail, natural nail, or nail bed. The amount of damage caused by a nail hit will largely depend on the severity of the hit and how long the pain lasts.
Your nails will be vulnerable immediately after applying the acrylic. Your natural nails become thin, brittle, and parched but start to regrow after two weeks. Your acrylic nails also start to grow naturally and may lift, chip, or peel if not well maintained.
A minor hit on your acrylic nails will likely have a lesser impact than a hit that causes bleeding or nail lifting. It will only hurt for a few days, and the pain will disappear.
If your nail takes a significant hit, it will hurt more because there is a potential of damage to the nail bed and other nail tissues.
However, you will only be able to tell if you remove the polish. If the acrylic is intact, it’s highly unlikely that the nail underneath will be torn.
Nail Bed Injuries
A hit on your acrylic nail can cause different nail bed injuries. Here are some medical terms you can expect from your doctor.
An injury to the distal phalanx can make blood trapped under your nail bed. As a result, your nails turn black and blue, and you can see bruises under your nail.
This damage is caused when you crush or hit your nail with a heavy object. The trapped blood will eventually be reabsorbed and the discoloration will disappear. But, the healing can take 2–3 months for a fingernail and up to 9 months for a toenail.
If the pain persists for more than 3 weeks (when your natural and acrylic nails have grown), some residual soft tissue damage, like distal phalanx fractures, nail avulsion, or finger-tip avulsions, most likely exists.
While you can limit the use of the affected finger, use an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain, or apply pressure to the area to reduce the amount of blood that can pool, you should seek the help of a professional to check the extent of the damage.
The next type of injury is called nail bed laceration. It’s a tear or cut caused by a saw or knife, but infection or regular wear and tear can also cause it. It is usually accompanied by pain, redness, and bleeding around the affected area.
Nail bed lacerations can range in severity; some may only require minimal treatment, such as cleansing with antiseptic and keeping the area covered until it heals, while more severe cases may require a stitch or suture to close the wound.
If left untreated, infection and permanent damage may occur. To prevent lacerations of the nail bed, regularly check your nails for signs of wear and tear or abnormalities such as discoloration or splitting and take preventive measures to minimize the risk of injury.
Treating nail bed lacerations as soon as possible ensures quick healing and prevents further damage or infection.
Nail Bed Avulsion
A nail bed avulsion is a partial or complete detachment of the nail plate from the underlying tissue. This condition can occur due to injury, especially when your finger gets stuck or jammed in something. Infections, diseases, or medical procedures such as chemotherapy treatment can also cause it.
Symptoms may include pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness around the affected area.
Treatment for a nail bed avulsion usually involves cleaning and protecting the area, applying topical antiseptics, and keeping it covered with a bandage until healing is complete.
Removing the detached portion of the nail plate may also be necessary to prevent further infection or damage. In some cases, you may require surgery if the detachment is severe enough that it cannot be treated by other means.
I Hit My Acrylic Nail, and It’s Bleeding
When you bleed after hitting your acrylic nails, the blood vessels under the nail bed are damaged, causing splinter hemorrhages. This injury happens when you stub or hit your nails or get acrylic nails put on. Splinter hemorrhages disappear over time, usually between 3 to 4 months.
If you think you may have broken your nail under an acrylic, there are several signs to look out for.
The nail is likely broken if the area around the nail appears discolored or swollen due to the hit. You may also notice a crack in the nail’s underlying skin and blood in or around the affected area. In addition, if your nail moves around more than usual when your wiggle it gently, it’s a sign it’s broken.
If you think your nail is broken, you should see a doctor or nail technician as soon as possible to fix it. However, you can do a few things before visiting a nail professional.
First, stop the bleeding by applying gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. Then, use an antiseptic solution such as rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to cleanse the area and prevent infection.
Finally, apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to help reduce the risk of infection and promote healing. If the bleeding does not stop after a few minutes, seek medical attention immediately.
Additionally, it is important to go for a follow-up check with your manicurist or nail technician as soon as possible. They can assess any further damage and make the necessary repairs.
Bruised Nail Under Acrylic
Bruised nails under acrylics occur for various reasons: nail injury and allergic reactions, but the most common cause is some kind of injury to the blood vessels under the nail bed.
A nail bruise makes blood collect and gets trapped in one spot, causing intense pain and throbbing. Although it looks terrible, you can quickly heal it at home.
Medical professionals call it “subungual hematoma.” And it’s one of the nail injuries that we discussed earlier on.
Broken Nail Under Acrylic Bleeding
Bleeding when your natural nail is broken under acrylics occurs when the blood vessels under your nail bed burst and leak into the surrounding tissue.
Your blood vessels carry blood throughout your body, so splinter hemorrhages can occur when they sustain damage.
Although bleeding when you break your nail under acrylics may sound serious, it’s usually easy to stop and treat the wound. The symptoms aren’t severe, but the bruises may heal within a few months.
You may have to go to an urgent care center or the emergency room if serious injuries occur.
How to Stop Acrylic Nail from Hurting after Hitting it
What do you do if your acrylic nail breaks and bleeds?
Stop the bleeding by applying gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. Next, use an antiseptic solution such as rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to cleanse the area and prevent infection. Finally, apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to help reduce the risk of infection and promote healing.
What to do immediately after the injury
One of the most common issues with wearing acrylic nails is that they can become uncomfortable after banging or hitting them on something. If this happens, it’s important to stop the pain and ensure that your nails stay healthy.
Here are some ways you can stop an acrylic nail from hurting after hitting it:
When you hit your acrylic nail, you must treat it promptly. This will help speed up the healing process and prevent infection.
Step 1: Wash your Hands
Wash and clean your hands before caring for your nail wounds or if your nail is bleeding. This is important to prevent germs like bacteria from entering your nails and causing other problems like nail fungi.
Clean hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds and dry them with a clean cloth.
Step 2: Stop the Bleeding
When you hit your acrylic nails, you can bleed, or the blood can be trapped under your nails. If bleeding occurs, apply pressure with a clean cloth or bandage for several minutes to promote clotting and stop bleeding. Be gentle as you continue applying pressure so that you don’t worsen the pain or bleeding.
Step 3: Clean the Wound
If your nails were dirty before the hit, there are chances that dirt and debris may remain in the wound. Cleaning the wound is the best way to prevent serious bacteria and fungi infections.
To clean a nail wound properly, use a washcloth to scrub it off gently. Then rinse it with water for about 5 minutes and dry it with a clean washcloth.
If you have to remove dirt or debris, use tweezers, but remember to clean them with rubbing alcohol beforehand.
Step 4: Apply Antibiotic Cream
While cleaning helps remove dirt and debris, more is needed. You need to protect the injury from getting invaded by bacteria and fungi. So, applying a thin layer of a topical antibiotic cream such as Neosporin can prevent infection.
Step 5: Cover your Wound
Nail injuries can take several days to months to heal. For this reason, you need to wrap your nail with a bandage, sterile gauze, and adhesive tape to keep it clean and protect it from infections.
Change and use new bandages at least once daily, preferably after showering. Only wrap the bandage when the bleeding stops.
Other Ways to Stop Acrylic Nail from Hurting after Hitting it
Apply Ice: Applying an ice pack or placing a small bag of frozen vegetables on the affected area can help stop the pain and reduce inflammation. Apply ice for 20 minutes every 2 hours on the first day, then 3 to 4 times a day after that.
Massage the area around your nail: Gently massaging around the base of your nail near where you bumped it can help remove impurities, stop the pain, and promote blood and healing.
Take over-the-counter pain medication: Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen can help to stop the pain and reduce inflammation.
Apply a numbness cream: A numbing cream to the affected area can temporarily relieve discomfort.
Use a Topical Anesthetic: A topical anesthetic such as lidocaine can help temporarily stop the pain.
Wear Protective Gear: If you are prone to accidentally bumping your nails, wearing protective gloves and padding on surfaces that you frequently use may help stop the pain from happening in the first place.