Son Lost Fingernail, Due to Daughter Shutting His Finger in a Door

Updated on February 03, 2010
M.Y. asks from Kalamazoo, MI
12 answers

About a week ago, my daughter shut my sons finger in the bathroom door on accident. Shortly after that I noticed that under his fingernail was all black and blue. My mom said he was going to lose his nail and sure enough it fell off yesterday. I am wondering if this has happened to anyone else and if it has, what did you do for the nail. I'm assuming it just grows back on it's own, but did you have to bandage it or do anything special for it. I just want to make sure that it won't get infected and that it will grow back properly. It is just the oddest thing and maybe a little unnerving to look at his finger and not a have a nail their. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone! Isaac is definetly babying that hand and finger, he doesn't want anyone to touch it and when you do he yanks his hand back. I can't believe that it takes so long to grow back, someone said six months or longer! Wow, anyway I just hope my little guy isn't in to much pain. I'm just going to keep watching it for now and as long as it doesn't look infected or anything I'll wait until next month when he has his 12month check up to have the doctor look at it. Thanks again!

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S.N.

answers from Saginaw on

My son got a Staph infection in his big toe, back in October. The nail fell off, and is now growing back. It's been about two months, and the nail has grown about a third of the size. So the six month estimate seems about right for regrowth. It seems to be growing pretty normally, too. So I doubt you'll have much to worry about.

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D.M.

answers from Lansing on

I have to say don't worry too much about it. I would watch for infection if the figer gets red or looks infected I would clean it and put neosporin or something on it, otherwise just wash it like normal. I do have to say it is going to be sore for a little while until his finger gets used to not having that nail there to protect it.I did this in a car door when I was younger and I remember how tender that finger was until I got my nail back. Kinda like when you cut your nails too short and they are sore for a day or so. I do suggest you watch it as it grows out because I happened to snag mine a couple of times and pulled the nail up away from the skin as it was regrowing. That is pretty painful. You shouldn't be surprised if the new nail doesn't look like all the others. Sever years later I still have a cloudy looking spot on my nail and a little bit of a dent in the center. I guess you can say another one of those famous childhood scars we all have a story for.

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D.T.

answers from Detroit on

Don't worry about the nail unless it shows signs of redness or is warm to the touch. Yes it is a natural thing for a nail to fall off if it was smashed in any way and yes it will grow back, it may take a few months but eventually it will grow back to normal with no signs that he even lost it. Take care mom.

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M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi M.,
My 1 year old son lost his toenail when a 5 pound weight fell on his toe. The Dr. told us that there is nothing that you can do for the nail but wait for it to grow. This happened 6 months ago and his nail is probably 1/2 grown back. It just takes a long time. Also, the Dr. said that the nail may grow back lumpy. I have noticed that a part of his nail does look like it may have a lump in it when it gets longer. I have a friend who her husband lost his finger nail and she said that it did grow back lumpy but the more it grew out the more the lumps are started to go away.Good luck!

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C.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi M.,
I lost a toenail when I was a kid. It grew back with no problems.

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S.T.

answers from Saginaw on

Believe it or not, my nephew lost the whole tip of his finger in the front door and it ALL grew back. Kids heal pretty fast. I'd watch it and take him to the doctor the minute that you think an infection is forming, b/c you don't want to risk it. It'll be fine!!!

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J.C.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I remember something like this happening to me when I was a child. Except it was my own fault. I shut my finger in a car door and my fingernail fell off a few days later. There really isn't anything you can really do, but I remember my mom making me wear a band aid for a week or so until the area wasn't so sore. Yes, the nail does grow back and I didn't have any problems with it being infected or growing back weird.

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J.K.

answers from Lansing on

M., my son lost his toe nail TWICE. He is nearly 6 now. They do grow back just fine. He dropped part of a bike on his big toe and needed stitches. Then more recently he dropped a wooden boat on it at daycare. Poor thing. But he didn't seem to mind a bit. Don't it'll come back in no time!

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L.H.

answers from Lansing on

I also as child lost two of my nails. One because it was slammed in a camper door, the second one was because I took an inside pitch playing baseball with my Dad:) the only thing that the doctor did for it was put a plastic "cast' type thing on it to avoid me from bumping it and making it sore. because it is pretty tender until the nail grows back. but no worries, it will grow back just fine:) my first time posting here, so I hope I am doing this right..lol

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M.C.

answers from Elkhart on

This happened to my son recently only his was a toe nail. The hardest part is that as it grows back *as someone said) it tends to get caught on things which can cause problems. Being it's his toe, he's usually wearing socks and I make sure he does at night so it doesn't snag on the bedding. With your son, I would leave it open as much as possible, but if he's going out where he could pick up germs or be more likely to snag it, use an antibacterial salve and cover it with a bandaid - you may need to use 2 bandaids, 1 vertically over the tip of the finger and the other around to hold the first in place.

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

The nail should grow back no problem. Just watch for signs of infection. You may want to check with your pediatrian to see if you should put any neosporin (sp?) or other anti-bacterial cream on it to prevent any infection and to see whether or not a bandaid is a good idea.

It will probably bother you more than him!

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K.C.

answers from Detroit on

Ok, I've lost two fingernails before. In extremely rare cases, the nail will grow back perfectly fine but look different (ex: larger shaped) than the same nail on the opposite finger/toe.

You don't want to cover it with a bandaid unless it is bleading. The sooner it dries up, scabs over, and heals, the sooner a nail will replace it. Putting a bandaid on it at any other time will keep it moist. If it looks like it is getting infected or anything seems to be sticking to it (lint, etc) pour some hydrogen peroxide on it until it stops bubbling (you know what I mean) and let it air dry, then gently dab on some neosporin.

Losing a nail can be extremely painful sometimes because it feels like the nerves are exposed and just a small brush against it, or putting pressure on the pad of the finger, can cause make it hurt. You might notice your child is careful not to use the finger or touch anything with it and is whiny if he accidently bumps it.

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