How to Drain Your Subungual Hematoma (blood Pocket Under Finger-nail) With a Drill Bit





Introduction: How to Drain Your Subungual Hematoma (blood Pocket Under Finger-nail) With a Drill Bit

Have you ever smashed your finger in something and immediately get a black finger nail?  Well along with that sweet Hot Topic look comes a throbbing pain that, even for those with high pain thresholds, can be unbearable. It's hard to even sleep with this kind of pain! So, the best thing to do is drain the blood pocket under the nail and relieve the pressure build-up.

Some use the heated pin method. But that can lead to a little more pain than necessary. Also, there is hardly any pain associated with the drill bit method except for the slight pressure you are applying. Fingernails don't have nerve endings, and by moving very slowly with a drill bit, you can reach the blood pocket without touching your nail bed!

finally, you get a satisfying eruption of crimson that, if performed soon after the injury, has a geyser effect. it's quite nice.

Step 1: Smash Finger

I happened to accidentally crush my finger with a welding tank.

Step 2: Ice and Elevate Your Finger

Do this immediately to instantly relieve pain and swelling

Step 3: Find and Sterilize/heat Drill Bit

Find the smallest drill bit you have access to and sterilize it either by heating it or using rubbing alcohol

Step 4: Start Drilling

slowly twist drill bit (by hand) into fingernail where blood clot lives, furthest from cuticle.

continue to twist slowly until you penetrate the bottom of the nail

do not use a drill for this...

(note bourbon)

Step 5: Presto

blood will form instantly once you've penetrated.

squeeze finger to relieve the pressure

Step 6: Apply Anti-spectic

apply anti-spectic

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Smashed my finger for the first time ever in the car door when distracted Tuesday morning like a kn*bhead whilst working away in Cornwall. Just got back home and found this site, drilled my nail, relieved blood and looks much better - Thanks, hope I don't lose the nail!

A radiator dropped on my big toe and caused the exact same.
After going to the doctor he did exactly that with a needle, though I think he might have done a lousy job. A tiny bit of pressure relief happened but it's still painful and meanwhile the blood that has oozed out has dried up again, keeping it black.
Should I just reopen that hole again or make a new one instead?

I can not tell you how happy I was to find this article last night. So much so I created an account just to share my experience.

I dropped a pole on my toe yesterday and all night last night I was awake. I think I got a total of 2 hours of sleep. My toe was throbbing so hard it kept me up. I found this article at 2:45 am sitting in my bathroom trying to find a way to release the pain!

My husband and daughter woke up and we ran to target at 745 am, still in pain I got the smallest drill bit 1/16th.

Once I got home I sterilized my toe, the drill bit and soaked it in rubbing alcohol, I then lit the end and started drilling down with my fingers not a drill this took about 15 mins. A little blood started coming out and I instantly started feeling better. Although I saw a post before, where the blood was completely drained. Mine still has blood under the nail, is this normal?

I'll post a picture. The first is after the drill bit and the second is the night before right after it had happened and I had iced and elevated. Any advice would be great on how to drain more of the blood or if it's even necessary! I still have a bit of throbbing but was able to at least nap now!


The drill method worked for me. Fortunately I have a good selection of tiny bits - I used one that is .018" and a pin vise to hold it.

Here are a couple pics - before, during, and after.


Slammed my index finger in my car door and really didn't want to go to the ER but after 4 hours of pain I found your video and it worked thanks man

So... A question. :-)
I injured my toe a while back. As in December shoveling snow I dropped a shovel on it. Since it stopped hurting after a day or so, I ignored it. Now there's a black/redish area under the nail that has been gradually growing. Honestly, I'm not even sure if this was caused by the shovel accident! But if it is, will drilling get rid of it at this point? And if it isn't, what is it and what do I do?
Thanks for any advice!

This works well. My advice is based on doing this to my son at 3:00am due to my wanting to avoid the ER. I used the smallest drill bit we had and I turned it by hand. It took quite a while to get through the toe nail. Maybe 10-15 min? I used rubbing alcohol on the toe nail and soaked the bit in alcohol. Then I burned the bit with a lighter. The next morning he did have some pain and throbbing for about an hour and I was afraid I was going to have to take him to the clinic. But, then it quit hurting.

Or you can get one of these from your doctor? Haha my doctor performed my "hole punching" and gave me mine to mess around with. Obviously not to do another cautery since it isn't technically sterile anymore.


Smashed my finger, dealt with throbbing pain for about 3.5hrs, took your advise, instant relief. Its been about 1hr and all it good! Here's what I did (an aggregate of everyone's advise - thank all): soaked finger in ice water for 10 min, cleaned nail with alcohol, dipped a clean 1mm drill bit in alcohol then lit it with a lighter until alcohol burned off, used 'good hand' to gently spin drill bit, after ~45 sec it broke through. Periodically cleaned 'hole' with alcohol until bleeding was sparse. Put triple antibotic cream on it and a band aid. Will locate some medical super glue tomorrow.

Found your article when our seven year old smashed his finger. He has a high pain threshold and was spitting bullets. He freaked when we suggested it, didn't care Grandma survived this, but your words, "You might not lose the nail" gave him the gusto to go for it (with a blindfold on because he didn't want to see the blood). Fifteen minutes later, his pal stopped by and he told the tale like a warrior and went and played outside like one. Thank you for your helpful article, our son literally said, "Thank you for drilling my nail."