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View Full Version : smashed finger - fingernail blister draining



snowman
04-13-2008, 12:43 PM
I'm not putting this as OT, as I know it's part of the game!

I smashed my finger a week ago. Had a giant blister under the fingernail. I drilled a hole yesterday and drained the blister, felt GREAT for a while. Now the blister is back.

Will I have to drain this thing daily?

John Stevenson
04-13-2008, 12:52 PM
Just every 3,000 miles and change the filter at 6,000 :D

.

A.K. Boomer
04-13-2008, 01:02 PM
How did you drill it? did you throw it in the kurt? next time set up a stop...

snowman
04-13-2008, 01:14 PM
no kurt, chinese import on a micro mill, stalled the spindle. Damn mill is worthless, and I missed the tolerance by an fifteen thou because I was converting mm to inch! Also had to put zero rake on the drill, was scared to have it self feed

No, I used a needle through most, but it hurt like hell, so I snipped the needle off, sanded the point flat and spun it in my finger til I drilled through the rest...no pain that way.

doctor demo
04-13-2008, 01:21 PM
For deep hole drilling like that ,just up the feed and speed, depth stops are a waste of time +or - a eighth inch is close enough.:D
Steve

Bill Pace
04-13-2008, 01:26 PM
You often have to open it 2, maybe 3 times....

I learned a long time ago its TOOOO painful to drill:eek: --- heat the end of the needle, paper clip, etc red hot and it just takes a touch to open it.... hurts like hell, but its over very quick, unlike that looong process of trying to get it drilled.

dp
04-13-2008, 01:27 PM
http://www.thenewstoday.info/20051125/earthworms.can.help.dissolve.blood.clots.for.strok e.patients.html

Go fishing!

Mcgyver
04-13-2008, 01:30 PM
this came up recently on PM....don't drill! well at least with press, one gent told a tale of the drill getting pulled right in - you'd think you'd use a pin vise not a dp :eek: :eek: . When I was kid, my Dad went to the doctor with this who heated up a paper clip red hot and burned a hole in nail. I've heard others say the same

Weston Bye
04-13-2008, 01:37 PM
Use a sharp drill the first time.

I've done this on several occasions with a 1/32" drill in a pin vise, once for my daughter. Must have been a significant event in her life as she still brings it up decades later, and is still grateful.

And yes, I had to open or refresh the drain hole a couple times while it was healing.

wierdscience
04-13-2008, 01:46 PM
When I do something to bruise a nail the first thing I do no matter how bad it hurts is squeeze and mash the finger tip forcing the blood to stay circulating.It hurts like hell,but it pays off in a smaller bruise or even better none at all.

snowman
04-13-2008, 02:26 PM
well, i got my finger caught in a high lift jack, when i finally got my finger out, i passed out on my driveway. i'm not exactly sure how long i blacked out for, but when i woke up, it was already good and swollen.

i hate my lack of pain tolerance lately, i used to be able to stitch myself up, now i can barely pop a pimple

laddy
04-13-2008, 04:36 PM
hope you feel better. I did it once about 18 years ago. Had to go out to dinner. They wanted to know if I wanted a drink. My thumb was throbbing like crazy. I asked for ice water, just to put my thumb in. Every 40 minutes I got a refill of ice. After dinner I had to give the ice water back.

The ride home was excruciating. I went to bed but everytime my wife moved I thought she would touch my thumb. Finally about 3:30am I came down and used a high speed dental drill to go through the nail. To my amazement it didn't relieve the pain nearly enough. I remember being in bad agony for about three days. Then for 6 months the nail coming off and finally growing back on.

Soak the finger/ thumb in salt water as much as you can. Get as much salt in the water till it won't dissolve any more. I would like to say warm water but I don't think you could take the throb it may cause. Chin up. Best regards Fred

A.K. Boomer
04-13-2008, 05:07 PM
well, i got my finger caught in a high lift jack, when i finally got my finger out, i passed out on my driveway. i'm not exactly sure how long i blacked out for, but when i woke up, it was already good and swollen.

Thats crazy bro

i hate my lack of pain tolerance lately, i used to be able to stitch myself up, now i can barely pop a pimple


Lemmie guess --- you dont like the cold anymore either???

Lew Hartswick
04-13-2008, 05:37 PM
When I was we tyke I had one and dad used his very sharp pocket
knife and scraped it gently till it went through. That way it made a
larger hole than a drill or the end of a hot wire and put very little
pressure on the sensitive pinky. Must have been about 6 or 7 , have
only had minor ones since and just let them grow out. As mater of
fact have the end bits of 3 just dissapearing now. :-)
...lew...

IOWOLF
04-13-2008, 05:46 PM
So just what is the speed and feed for fingernail material?


Just trying to keep On topic.

Jim Caudill
04-13-2008, 06:17 PM
There are several ways to go about this. I just went thru it this past year after smashing my forefinger last May. If the blister is any significant portion under the nail, you are going to lose it. I soaked my finger a lot in cold (ice) water and I think I heated a paperclip to melt thru the nail. The nail is like plastic and has no nerve to transmit pain. I had no particular discomfort going thru to the underneath either. If that area is flooded with blood/fluid, it seems to lose its sensitivity. Keep it open or continue to make a new hole. I think mine continued to build and flow for about a week. After the tenderness is gone, I would suggest seeing a doctor that knows how to deal with nail injuries (possibly a podiatrist). I say this because, in my case, 2/3 thirds of the nail wanted to "die and seperate" and the other 1/3 wanted to hang on. This produced some issues later on. It would have been best to simply have the whole nail removed at one time, keep the finger bandaged for a while, and moved on. If the "nail bed" is not really damged, this is not a big deal, and the doctor may tell you to "let nature take its course". My nail bed is damaged and my nail will never be quite right. I have a tubular channel under my nail that wicks up everything in the world by capillary action and always makes my finger look a little funky. I feel lucky that I didn't lose the tip of my finger though. Just another of life's scars to show you did something other that sit on the porch.

john hobdeclipe
04-13-2008, 07:30 PM
I did this once simply using the point of my pocket knife, twirling it back and forth until I got a hole to let the blood out.

On another occasion I had a splinter that broke off under the nail and began to fester. Only way to get it out was to scrape the surface of the nail down to the underlying tissue. Hold it in icewater for a few minutes, then scrape a while, then hold in in icewater, then scrape. Ooh, that one hurt.

snowman
04-13-2008, 07:38 PM
my blister is about 3/32 wide and 1/4" long, i dont believe i'll lose the nail, the rest of it looks healthy, but figured i'd have the blister until it grew all the way out

guess it's time to go locate my pin vise

Prokop
04-13-2008, 07:50 PM
I'm not putting this as OT, as I know it's part of the game!

I smashed my finger a week ago. Had a giant blister under the fingernail. I drilled a hole yesterday and drained the blister, felt GREAT for a while. Now the blister is back.

Will I have to drain this thing daily?

yes, drain it as often as necessary. I personally use the exacto knife to drill holes.

Rookie machinist
04-13-2008, 08:02 PM
If it continues to hurt more than a few days and you hit it hard you might want to see a doc. I smahed my finger one time and broke off the tip of the bone, after a week of constant pain I went to the doc. I had a mild bone infection that could have caused major problems if not treated.

darryl
04-13-2008, 09:28 PM
I managed to drill a hole (by accident) into my thumbnail about halfway from the tip of the thumb to the first knuckle. Green stuff poured out for quite a while (ok, it was probably red). That was about 6 mos ago, and the nail is just starting to grow out the damage. Until it's finally gone, I'll have three nails there, side by side. I used ca on it to try holding it together, and that was fine for awhile, but I keep breaking it. Sure feels funny having the main nail plus a couple floating pieces.

One of my fingers has a 'node' of some kind on it, I think it was a grain of sand or something that got embedded there. Anyway, the nail now grows out with a groove in line with that bump. It's hard to keep it trimmed so it doesn't catch on things. Whatever. I still have all twelve fingers and four thumbs.

Pete H
04-13-2008, 10:37 PM
I've done this a few times and never had the fortitude to do the "hot paperclip" trick... besides, it stinks. I pierced the nail with a small drill, 1/32" or 1/16", in a pin-vise or with some masking tape wrapped around the shank so I could spin it with my fingers. I put some antiseptic on the area - Bactine, because it has an anaesthetic in it. (Wouldn't help while drilling but may help after the hole goes through.) I put a band-aid wet with Bactine on the nail afterward. I usually had to open it up again a couple of times, being sure to use antiseptic each time... an infection under the nail is a b*tch.

Please note disclaimer - I'm not a medical professional, I'm only relating what I did for myself.

S_J_H
04-13-2008, 11:11 PM
he he he, I have had to drill my finger nails at least 5 times over the years.
Yeah just clumsy I guess..
I have done it with either a red hot wire or a drill.
I think the drill bit held in a pin vise is the least painful way. Just hold a sharp drill bit in a pin vise and by HAND drill a hole to relieve the pressure. I assume one will know to not use a rusty greasy ol' bit in this surgical procedure.
Yep, you may need to open the hole to let out the pressure a second or third time.
It's fun and a great event to share with the entire family.
Make a batch of popcorn for the bystanders.:D
Steve-- NOT A DOCTOR

darryl
04-14-2008, 12:47 AM
LOL. Could be better than some movies I've seen. ' hotdogs, popcorn- come see ______ pierce his fingernail and jump around and scream like a girl- chocolate bars, pop, cigarettes- step right up :)

On the original topic, I like the pin vise idea, but not the drill bit. Why not a fat needle ground to a 45 degree point, then made into a D bit- wouldn't pull itself in and would work both directions. Easy to use, probably gets sterilized by the heat of sharpening (good for 1st use anyway).

dp
04-14-2008, 01:08 AM
Infections or fungus invasion under the nail is a real problem and is aggrevated by the lack of blood flow in the damaged sub-nail area. This can have disasterous consequences, so be sure to use common sense and lots of sanitary practices when mucking with this problem.

I've always used a pin vise and micro drill to relieve the pressure, and applied a clothespin to prevent the blister refilling. Stagnant blood is a marvelous nursery for all manner of organisms and is to be avoided.

There is no painless means to hasten this along.

chief
04-14-2008, 06:08 AM
Drain it again, them imerse your finger in hot water (shower temp) to draw out the infection, after that pour betadine on it.

A.K. Boomer
04-14-2008, 09:18 AM
One of my fingers has a 'node' of some kind on it, I think it was a grain of sand or something that got embedded there. Anyway, the nail now grows out with a groove in line with that bump. It's hard to keep it trimmed so it doesn't catch on things. Whatever. I still have all twelve fingers and four thumbs.


No-no-no You messed up the nail factory, there's little men in there - some on the top of the nail (where it begins under the skin -thats why you can't see them) and ones underneath, the ones underneath hold an anvil and the ones on top all have sledge hammers, when you get a groove it means that one of the workers has shot craps, if its an upper grove thats raised it means that its one of the top workers, if its a detent groove it means that one of the anvil holders shell'ed out a connecting rod bearing ---- Iv studied this for quite sometime, this is how things function in there, there's nothing you can do -- when one die's he's dead and thats that --- Its kinda like the teeth people except a little different because they get second chances when your young....

JimH
04-14-2008, 09:48 AM
I could never stand drilling a hole, so I use a Dremel tool with the thin cutoff disk. No pain from pressing on the nail with a drill and you get a nice little groove across the nail. You do have to be careful where you aim, as the venting of the blood gets thrown by the spinning disk. Just put a pile of Kleenex in the way.
Jim

Jim Caudill
04-14-2008, 02:52 PM
Here is my finger 11 months after the incident. The discolored section is not attached to the nail bed anymore. Most solvents, cutting fluid, etc will simply wick its way right up underneath the nail. It looks really clean right now because I have not been well and the only work getting done is taxes (and even those have an extension filed)
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i183/Ferrofab/MVC-003F-1.jpg

snowman
04-14-2008, 03:13 PM
greaaaaat....any other time, they grow too damn quick, now they won't grow fast enough

Jim Caudill
04-14-2008, 03:47 PM
Just to be clear, what you see in the picture is after the old nail was completley lost. Everything you see is "new growth" and the damaged part will always grow out damaged, no matter how many times the nail grows out. Your's sounds relatively minor, in that it encompasses a small area, and probably not severe enough to have damaged the nail bed.

Alistair Hosie
04-14-2008, 04:35 PM
A red hot needle is the answer wait till it is cherry red then when it turns yellow glowing stick it right under the nail.It is guaranteed to take your mind off your crappy mill :D Alistair

Dawai
04-14-2008, 09:49 PM
I keep a scalpel blade and a printed circuit drill in my wallet.

I could show ya some stuff.. not going to upstage anyone. I'm a tough guy, but lately.. I whimper too. The big mean looking ones that got tattoos were the ones you had to hold onto by their arm to keep them in the chair.

Last time I drove myself to the doctor clamping a rag, I near throwed up when they laid that syringe on the board to deaden it.. I hate needles.. Imagine that, someone with seven square feet of tattoo work..

I got pretty good at giving myself shots, now am on the creme tho since the shots made my feet swell up and turn black.

Yesterday? I was hacksawing a aluminum camera mount for the mill, when the saw jumped through the last cut, made two strokes across the top of my hand, about 1/8" deep.. two strokes.. it wasn't cutting the aluminum worth a crap but sure sliced the meat fine. Could be worse, I was running the cnc and didn't want to walk off to use the "port-a-bandsaw"..

Getting old sucks, but consider the alternative. I'd had worse "hair burn" on my "un-huh" than on the back of my hand... I am now a wimp and not ashamed..

Paul Alciatore
04-15-2008, 01:01 AM
Am I the only one on this board who has heard of doctors? Emergency Rooms? Clinics?

Macho a******s. Serves you right if you loose a finger.

Seriously, I wouldn't use a doc for a minor cut or even a minor smash, but this sounds like it just may be serious enough for a pro.

And, if this happened at work, then workman's comp should cover it.

Dawai
04-15-2008, 06:02 AM
GROUND rules: if it changes color, if it won't get over being numb, if it can't be walked on, if you feel sick and woosy, any bones sticking out?.. GET YOUR BUTT TO THE DOCTOR.

If it can be sealed with liquid skin close it up, if it is squirting it might need more attention than that. Apply pressure and get to the doctor..

If you have to crawl around in the shavings to find body parts, get to the doctor. Otherwise electrical tape applies pressure to slow the bleeding.

I used to date nurses, they were excellent at telling me I was stupid, and when to get to the doctor. Otherwise provided lots of amusement, had their own money, and bandaided and patted me on the butt to make me feel better.

ANYTHING around a eye is scary to me, a cut on a eyelid or eyebrow.. Most vision is lost with a infection I think. I have taken a magnetic screwdriver and retrieved shavings so I could close a eyelid.. that scares the bejesus out of me now.

A lil mashed finger, a slight cut, a bruise feels a lot worse than it really is, your body tells you about damage and warns you with lil telegraph messages not to do any more.

I watched my fingers smoke yesterday after I picked something up out of the lathe pan .. no blisters, just kinda numb and the skin is hard this morning. I never expected it to be that hot, that long afterwards. Surprise surprise surprise.. I didn't examine it long.

Weston Bye
04-15-2008, 06:11 AM
To add to what David said, I found this piece of advise on a blacksmith forum:

"If you smell something stupid burning, let go."

Applies to me, too.