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Why Do My Nails Hurt When I Press on Them?

on June 10, 2024

Experiencing pain when pressing on your nails can be both puzzling and concerning. This discomfort can arise from various causes, ranging from minor injuries to underlying health conditions. Understanding why your nails hurt when pressed can help you identify the appropriate treatment and preventive measures. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the common causes of nail pain, symptoms to watch out for, and tips for maintaining healthy nails.


Common Causes of Nail Pain

Several factors can contribute to nail pain. Here are some of the most common causes:

1. Trauma or Injury

  • Accidental Impact: A sudden blow to the nail can cause pain and even bruising beneath the nail bed.
  • Repeated Pressure: Continuous pressure from tight shoes or repetitive tasks can lead to nail pain.

2. Infections

  • Fungal Infections: A common cause of nail discomfort, fungal infections can lead to thickened, discolored nails that are painful to touch.
  • Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections, often resulting from cuts or abrasions near the nail, can cause redness, swelling, and pain.

3. Ingrown Nails

  • Improper Trimming: Cutting nails too short or in the wrong shape can cause them to grow into the surrounding skin, leading to pain and infection.
  • Tight Footwear: Shoes that are too tight can press the nails into the skin, causing ingrown nails.

4. Nail Conditions

  • Paronychia: This condition involves the infection of the skin around the nail, causing pain, redness, and swelling.
  • Psoriasis: Nail psoriasis can lead to pitting, discoloration, and pain in the nails.

5. Systemic Health Issues

  • Arthritis: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation and pain in the nails and surrounding joints.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more prone to infections and circulation issues, which can lead to nail pain.


Symptoms to Watch Out For

Identifying specific symptoms can help determine the cause of nail pain and the appropriate treatment. Here are some symptoms to be aware of:

  • Redness and Swelling: Often indicative of an infection or inflammation.
  • Discoloration: Changes in nail color can signal fungal infections or underlying health issues.
  • Thickening: Nails that become thick and brittle are often associated with fungal infections.
  • Pitting or Ridging: Common in nail psoriasis, these symptoms indicate structural changes in the nail.
  • Bleeding or Pus: Signs of severe infection requiring medical attention.


Prevention and Treatment Tips

Maintaining healthy nails involves a combination of good hygiene practices and prompt treatment of any issues. Here are some tips to prevent and treat nail pain:

1. Proper Nail Care

  • Regular Trimming: Keep nails trimmed and filed to prevent ingrown nails and reduce the risk of trauma.
  • Moisturize: Apply moisturizer to your nails and cuticles to keep them hydrated and healthy.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Use gentle, non-toxic nail products to prevent damage and irritation.

2. Safe Nail Practices

  • Wear Protective Footwear: Choose shoes that fit well and provide adequate support to avoid pressure on your nails.
  • Practice Good Hygiene: Keep your nails clean and dry to prevent infections.
  • Use Nail Protectors: When engaging in activities that might harm your nails, such as gardening or cleaning, wear gloves to protect them.

3. Addressing Specific Conditions

  • Treat Infections Promptly: Use antifungal or antibacterial treatments as prescribed by your doctor to address infections.
  • Manage Chronic Conditions: If you have a systemic condition like diabetes or arthritis, work with your healthcare provider to manage it effectively.


When to Seek Medical Attention

While minor nail pain can often be managed at home, certain symptoms require professional medical attention. Seek help if you experience:

  • Severe Pain: Persistent, intense pain that does not improve with home treatment.
  • Spreading Redness or Swelling: Signs of a spreading infection that may need antibiotics.
  • Nail Detachment: If your nail starts to separate from the nail bed, it could indicate a serious condition.


How to Maintain Healthy Nails

Maintaining healthy nails goes beyond treating and preventing pain. Incorporate these habits into your routine for overall nail health:

1. Balanced Diet

  • Nutrient-Rich Foods: Ensure your diet includes vitamins and minerals essential for nail health, such as biotin, vitamin E, and iron.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water to keep your nails hydrated.

2. Gentle Nail Care

  • Avoid Excessive Filing: Over-filing can weaken your nails and make them more susceptible to damage.
  • Limit Use of Nail Hardeners: Overuse of nail hardeners can cause your nails to become too brittle.

3. Regular Manicures

  • Professional Care: Regular manicures by a professional can help maintain the health and appearance of your nails.
  • DIY Care: If you prefer at-home care, ensure you use clean, sanitized tools and follow proper techniques.


Popular Nail Products and Trends

Exploring popular nail products and trends can also contribute to maintaining and enhancing your nail health. Here are some options from Match Nails:


Red press on nails


  • Medium Nails: Ideal for those who prefer a moderate length with versatile designs.


Medium nails green and cute


  • Grey Glitter Nails: Add some sparkle to your nails with these trendy grey glitter options.


Round long handmade grey glitter nails
  • Duck Nail Art: Fun and unique designs for those looking to express their individuality.


Pink duck nail art



Nail pain when pressed can stem from various causes, each requiring specific attention and care. By understanding the potential reasons behind your discomfort and adopting proper nail care practices, you can alleviate pain and maintain healthy nails. Remember to seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen. With the right approach, you can enjoy beautiful, pain-free nails and explore exciting nail trends with confidence. For high-quality nail products and creative designs, visit Match Nails.

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