Discoloration or Red Nails

Hands | Dermatology | Discoloration or Red Nails (Symptom)


Red or black nails may result from a hematoma (a collection of blood) under the nail as a result of trauma (including ingrown toenails).


Subungual hematoma occurs when trauma to the nail results in a collection of blood, or hematoma, under the nail. It may result from an acute injury or from repeated minor trauma such as running in undersized shoes.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Acute subungual hematomas are quite painful, and are usually treated by releasing the blood by creating a small hole in the nail. Drilling and thermal cautery are common methods for creating the hole. Thermal cautery is not used on acrylic nails because they are flammable.