Q&A

Why does my nail biter client have blood pooling under her nails?

Q.

I have a client who got her nails done yesterday. She is a bad biter and has just told me that she has what looks like blood pooling under a couple of her nails. I have never encountered this in 10 years. What could it be and what should I do?

A.

This sounds like it may be a subungual hemorrhage, which is when blood gets trapped under the nail secondary to trauma, in this case from nail biting. However, there are many things, some serious, that can cause discoloration of the nail. If the problem persists I would recommend that she see a dermatologist.

— Dana Stern, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in nails. She works in private practice in New York City.

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