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How to Heal a Bruised Toenail?

How to Heal a Bruised Toenail?

It's not unusual to bruise a toenail, especially if you're a runner. You might also end up with a bruised toenail from an accident, like stubbing a toe or dropping something on your foot. It may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it could cause weeks of pain. Let's discuss how to heal a bruised toenail as quickly as possible.

Do You Need Medical Attention to Heal a Bruised Toenail?

How to Heal a Bruised Toenail?

It may seem silly to visit a doctor over a bruised toe. However, blood trapped under the nail (a subungual hematoma) can put pressure on the nerves leading to weeks of discomfort. Draining the blood within 48 hours before it clots is essential, but that procedure shouldn't be attempted at home. Also, a bruised toenail could be permanently deformed if not cared for properly.

Worse, a bruised toenail could indicate a broken bone. Then, there's the possibility that it could be melanoma or skin cancer that resembles a bruise. Before treating a bruised toenail at home, we recommend getting it assessed by a medical provider.

How to Treat a Bruised Toenail at Home

The rest of this article will guide you through how to heal a bruised toenail at home.

R.I.C.E. For the First Few Days

Putting ice on your toe, resting with it elevated above your heart, and wrapping it can reduce pain and swelling and keep the bruise from worsening. Prompt treatment may also save the nail from falling off. Wrap ice in a washcloth and leave it on the toe for 10 minutes up to 4 times daily. If you experience discomfort from the cold, decrease the amount of time.

Soak in Warm Water

One of the most effective ways to alleviate pain and promote healing is soaking in warm water for 15 minutes daily. Make a habit of it after you ice it for the first couple of days. This simple act of increasing blood flow to the area helps the bruise disappear more quickly.

Feel free to add Epsom salt to the water because it relieves inflammation and accelerates recovery.

Trim the Toenail

Keeping your toenails trimmed short and square will help prevent further injury and reduce pressure on the affected area. Use sharp, high-quality clippers to avoid tearing or splitting the nail. Then file sharp edges if needed.

Additionally, using cuticle oil and moisturizer can help soothe and soften the skin around the toenail. Well-hydrated skin is healthier and faster at healing.

24K Gold Nail & Cuticle Oil - Lavender

24K Gold Nail & Cuticle Oil - Lavender


Lavis cuticle oil is our favorite. It’s infused with an excellent moisturizer – hyaluronic acid – plus pure gold to brighten and revitalize the skin. Moreover, it contains lavender essential oil that’s naturally anti-inflammatory and antifungal.

Proper Footwear

Open-toe sandals may be the most comfortable option while the bruised toenail heals. Nevertheless, see that your shoes have enough space for the sore toe. Ensure they fit correctly so your foot doesn't slide around and irritate it. Cushioned athletic socks may be helpful.

For added protection, consider using moleskin or blister pads on the end of the toe to minimize pressure and friction during daily activities.

Give Your Feet TLC

Take advantage of this time to pamper your feet. We mentioned soaking in Epsom salt to alleviate inflammation and pain. Add vitamins to help your skin can recover faster. Our pedicure spa kit features a bubbly soak packed with organic ingredients to rejuvenate your feet. It includes a silky sugar scrub, mud mask, and rich massage butter.

On the other hand, keep things simple with spa socks. They offer intense hydration with collagen, shea butter, and hemp oil. These natural ingredients are anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants for rapid recovery.

How to Hide a Bruised Toenail

If you're worried about the unsightly appearance of your bruised toenail, painting your toes with polish can help disguise the bruise.

Nonetheless, it's crucial to check on your healing progress at least weekly to guarantee there are no signs of infection or worsening of the condition.

We recommend a non-toxic nail lacquer like this one:

LDS Healthy Nail Lacquer

LDS Healthy Nail Lacquer


Protect your health without sacrificing a beautiful outcome. LDS healthy nail polish is 9-free with no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, phthalates, petrochemical solvents, or other harmful chemicals. It’s even vegan and cruelty-free.

What’s more, it helps nails stay hydrated, and that’s essential while a bruised nail heals. Choose from over 170 shades that air dry quickly and stay glossy and gorgeous for a week or longer.

If you're also interested in preserving your health over the long term, choose a non-toxic nail polish remover. It will allow you to keep an eye on the bruised toenail’s recovery process without feeling guilty about damaging the nails:

Blossom Nail Polish Remover - Mint

Blossom Nail Polish Remover - Mint


You don’t need harsh, drying acetone to remove nail lacquer. Stop wrecking your nails and switch to a gentle polish remover. Blossom is non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan. It doesn’t have scary preservatives like parabens, and it even smells good. That's because it's enriched with essential oils to protect your nails and skin. Moreover, it dissolves polish in moments.

We suggest the mint version for a bruised toenail as it’s soothing to the skin and mind.

How Long Does It Take for a Bruised Toenail to Heal?

Toenails grow out more slowly than fingernails. It may take 9 months for the bruise under a toenail to disappear. The toenail itself may take up to a year and a half to grow out. Prompt and consistent treatment may shorten the time you have to live with a bruised toenail.


Remember that patience is critical, as healing a bruised toenail takes time. But there are many things you can do to ensure a swift recovery. By seeking medical advice, icing the toe to reduce swelling, soaking your foot in warm water to accelerate healing, wearing appropriate footwear, and maintaining proper nail care, you'll be well on your way to having a healthy toenail again.

While you’re here, we invite you to see our new arrivals and discover what’s trending in the nail world. We offer both free gifts and free shipping on orders over $100.