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Laceration - Nail Bed


    Pain control

    Administer medications as required for pain (paracetamol and ibuprofen are available from pharmacies without prescription). Local anaesthetic is administered at the time of surgery; this wears off within 24 hours and pain may increase when this occurs. Any areas that are made numb by the local anaesthetic should regain sensation at this time.


    Keep dressings clean, dry and intact until your review appointment.


    If antibiotics are prescribed for your child, administer these as directed.


    Keep the arm elevated in a sling to reduce pain and swelling and encourage faster healing. Avoid activities that would cause undue strain to the affected finger.

    What to expect

    Whether the nail will grow back normally depends on the extent of the injury sustained, but in most cases nail growth is normal. The surgeon will be able to give you an idea of whether normal nail growth is expected, likely or unexpected. The length of time that your child has to wear the bandages also depends on the injury but it is usually around three weeks.

    Seek medical attention if your child has:

    • Increasing pain or pain not relieved by medication
    • Persistent fever
    • General unwellness
    • Colour changes (white, blue, purple) to the fingers
    • Wound discharge or increasing redness

    Follow up

    Your follow up appointment will be at one of the following:

    • Plastic Surgery Outpatients (Registrar Clinic), Blue Desk, Ground Floor Royal Children's Hospital (morning appointment)
    • Consultant Clinic 
    • Consultant Private Rooms 
    • Local doctor

    If you are unable to keep your appointment please call to reschedule.

    If you have any concerns contact:

    Plastic & Maxillofacial Surgery Office - 9345 5391
    Outpatient appointments - 9345 6180
    Plastic Surgery Resident or Registrar - via switchboard on 9345 5522