Purple, Numb Fingertips -- Is This Serious?

Ow. I just tried to open my window, and it wasn’t moving, so I put a little extra oomph into it with my fingers curled around the bottom and my fingertips got jammed really hard between the bottom part of the window and the top part. On one of my fingertips, there are now purple spots and the tip is somewhat numb. On another, a purple splotch about half the size of a thumbnail has developed, and it is completely numb. I assume I burst some veins or something. Anyhow, does anybody know if it’s anything I should be concerned about?

Sounds like ouch! simple bruising. It’s probably not anything to be oeverly concerned about. I’ve done similar things myself (garage door!) You can expect one or more fingernails to possibly fall off, thought they might niot. This is a bit gross, but they’ll grow back in a few weeks. I found ice helped. Hopeully Qadgop will be by with more details.

By your description it sounds like tiny little bruises. If bleeding continues, especially under the nail, it can become quite painful, and sometimes can only be relieved by burning a hole in the nail to let the blood escape.

If I see a patient and diagnose subungal hematomae (blood under the nail) or general digital ecchymoses (bruises in the fingers) and the patient declines my generous offer of burning holes in their nails (“But its fun! At least I have fun doing it!”) then I recommend ice, and the over-the-counter pain reliever of choice.

If pain is severe, or bleeding is persistant, or the fingers fail to bend and straighten properly, a consult with one’s physician is indicated.

The above represent general principles of diagnosis and treatment, and are not meant to apply to you specifically. YMMV.


I’m afraid to ask…but what do you use to do this? :eek:

The usual “home method” for burning holes in fingernails that I’ve seen has been to heat a paperclip over a flame, then really quick poke a hole in the nail.

Thank you for your seemingly tireless efforts Qadgop the Mercotan.

That’s how an R.N. in the office where I worked the last time I slammed a digit in a doorway did it with my thumbnail. Our resident doctor did wander by and add a word of warning about keeping the hole clean to avoid infection, but it did indeed relieve the pressure and a great deal of the pain. The “procedure” itself was almost painless, except for the brief pressure on the nail.

Well, my fingernails are all fine. The bruises seem to be on the other side of the fingernail. Usually when I get bruises they’re larger, like when I fall onto a hard surface; I’ve never had them this small, nor on such a sensitive part of my body (lost of nerve endings in those fingertips). I have feeling in those places again, but all the sensory information they’re giving my brain is “PAIN OUCH HURT PAIN”, but only when I touch something. Anyhow, thanks for the replies everybody. :slight_smile: