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Minor fingernail and toenail problems are common. At one time or another, almost everyone has caught a nail on something, causing it to rip, or has smashed a finger in a door, leaving blood under the nail. These kinds of injuries can be quite painful but are usually not serious. You can often relieve pain and prevent infection of minor nail problems at home.
Normally, fingernails grow about one-tenth of a millimeter each day. Toenails grow at about one-half or one-third the rate of the fingernails. Aging and diseases that decrease blood flow to the hands and feet may slow nail growth.
Common nail changes include:
Nail problems can also be caused by:
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
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Home treatment can help relieve pain, prevent infection, and promote healing. To relieve pain from an injury to the nail, try the following:
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
Last Revised: October 7, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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