Nail Bed Repair
We don’t think about them very often, but our nails can be incredibly important to the basic functions of our hands. When you stop and think about it, what do fingernails even do? Well, it turns out that fingernails are a characteristic fairly unique to primates and, basically, they’re great at supporting broad fingertips. This means that, generally, we gain more traction when we grip something. The fingernail itself is composed mostly of keratin, a derivative of the same protein that forms your hair. The downside of fingernails is that when something goes wrong, the end result can be quite painful.
This is particularly true of damage to the nail bed. Supporting the nail itself, the nail bed is that area of tissue that lies directly below the nail. The nail bed can become damaged in a wide variety of ways, although most often it is due to a compression injury. These injuries can be quite painful, but because there’s no immediate loss of sensation or mobility, many people will delay seeking medical treatment or attention. When it comes to nail bed injuries, seeking medical attention sooner rather than later can drastically limit the damage this injury can cause. Dr. Charles Polsen is a highly regarded hand surgeon with experience and expertise treating nail bed damage in the Houston area.
Symptoms of Nail Bed Damage
Because the initial injury may often be less severe, symptoms of nail bed damage can grow over time. It’s worth noting as well that, sometimes, there is no instigating injury and damage can be caused instead by deformities or fungal infections. Whatever the cause, nail bed damage sometimes will lead to the following symptoms:
- Pain in the fingertips
- Extreme sensitivity of the fingertips
- Nail detachment from the nail bed
- Nails that are fragile, brittle, or peeling
- Discoloration of the nail
Any of these symptoms could indicate a problem with the nail or with the nail bed. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek help from a highly qualified medical professional or hand surgeon in order to determine the cause of the problem.
Treating Nail Bed Damage
Treatments for nail bed damage will vary based on the cause of the damage in the first place. Surgeons will be looking to avoid several things when they repair damage: infection and an ingrown nail being the most prominent. In some cases, damage to the nail bed will cause the nail to grow in a deformed way. In these cases, the nail will need to be removed and the damage to the nail bed repaired (often with surgery). This is usually performed under local anesthetic.
In order to get the best possible results, it is recommended that you consult with a highly qualified hand surgeon, such as Dr. Charles Polsen, who has a great deal of experience treating nail bed damage in the Clear Lake, Houston area. If your hand is causing you discomfort, contact us today to schedule a consultation.