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Remedies for a nail puncture wound

A puncture wound is caused by an object piercing the skin. Some can occur on the surface of the skin and even deep which depends on the cause and source.

A puncture wound caused by a nail penetrates the layers of the skin and leaves a hole in the skin. These wounds are susceptible to bacteria that can enter the deeper part of the skin which is difficult to clean and at high risk for infection. The punctured wounds can be mild or severe, depending on the area affected, the condition of the nail and the deepness.

Symptoms of a nail puncture wound

  • Pain and mild bleeding of the affected area
  • An infection causes redness, presence of pus, swelling and watery discharge from the wound.


Puncture wound

A puncture wound caused by a nail penetrates the layers of the skin and leaves a hole in the skin.

  • Check the affected area to ensure that nothing is left inside the wound
  • Let the wound bleed freely.
  • If there is severe bleeding or appears to squirt out, apply pressure until it stops. Apply gentle pressure using a clean cloth or bandage. If bleeding still continues after several minutes of applying pressure, seek medical help immediately.
  • Irrigate or flush water the puncture wound to eliminate any dirt or debris left inside. Bacteria and debris left inside the wound increases the risk for infection. Irrigate the punctured area using a continuous stream of water for at least 5 minutes to flush out any contaminants. After the irrigation, wash the area using warm and soapy water to further clean the wound. If there are some debris left inside and cannot be removed, seek medical attention.
  • Apply a thin layer of antibiotic on the wound to coat and protect the affected area. Use a clean swab or gauze in applying the ointment on the wound at least 3 times every day. Cover the wound using sterile gauze or non-stick pads to prevent contamination. Change dressings daily or if it becomes soiled until the punctured wound is totally healed.
  • The affected person should be given a tetanus shot. If suffering from conditions such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, deep wounds on the foot and wound that are contaminated, antibiotics are usually given.


  • Keep sharp objects out of reach from small children. Use only for the intended purpose and handle with care.
  • Avoid running while holding sharp objects.
  • Remove nails from boards and throw them away.
  • Keep play and working areas free from thrash and sharp objects.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on puncture wounds is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage puncture wounds and perform proper wound care, register for a first aid and CPR course with one of our training providers.

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