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Avatar universal

severe pain under my thumb nail

Hello all,

I can't seem to find this symptom on the web, and I've only gotten funny looks from doctors when I've asked, so I thought I'd lay it out there for you guys.

For a number of years now I have had a sort of "shock spot" where my thumb nail meets the skin on my left thumb. It doesn't hurt on a normal basis, but the slightest bump, or even touch, feels like I just closed my thumb in the door, or beat it with a hammer. Seriously, if I'm walking and my thumb brushes against my pockets and hits my cell phone or something right on that spot, the pain can be excruciating. Often times I will experience shooting pains along the sides as well.

There is no discoloration, or anything weird for that matter. It looks like a normal thumb. Doctors have looked at it, and seem to have no clue. But for something to hurt this bad, there's gotta be a reason.

Any thoughts?

37 Responses
563773 tn?1374250139
I cannot confirm anything without examination but pain at the side of nail can be due to paronychia. It results from a breakdown of the protective barrier between the nail and the nail fold. Diagnosed by gram staining and KOH wet mounts from the skin and nail scrapings.

Treatment includes warm water soaks of the affected finger 3-4 times per day, oral antibiotics, topical antifungals and surgical intervention in more severe cases. My sincere advice would be to consult a dermatologist. It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your dermatologist. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

I too had pain under my finger nail.I had scraped something with that finger nail so some foreign particle was lying there. Once i removed it the pain subsided.
Avatar universal
Hi john,
I'm experiencing very similar symptoms. It's basically over my whole left tip of my thumb. Very sensitive, almost numb, and it seems like for no reason. It's a little red and a little swollen, but so little I think I'm the only one who notices it. Therefore, looks completely normal to others. This has happened a couple times before; always seems to go away in a few days on its own. Just wish I knew what it was!!

Avatar universal
Hey John,
I got the same problem, my left thumb feels pain under the thumbnail and doctors are not having any clue for that. The pain is like something is stuck in middle of the thumb but xRay shows nothing. This pain is same as you mentioned, normally it wont hurt but sometimes even simple touch or normal tap on that spot will hurt very badly. Also, there is no spot of anything when looking from outside. Doc says, must be bacuase I use computer everyday but I use it since 7 yrs by now and now all of a sudden it started. Also, in cold when I go out the pain will start enourmously similar to that tap on that spot.
Have you got any solution for this since you posted this long back.
Did you ever have your finger checked out??  I need recommendations on whom to see!
It's a glomus tumour. Had mine out 2 months ago and it is completely better after 5 years of pain.
Avatar universal
Hi Tej,

I am experiencing the same problem you and Katemartin describe. Any solution come your way yet?

Avatar universal
Got the same problem, everything looks normal, left hand thumb, where the nail meets the skin on the left ridge base almost like it is under the corner of the nail. Kinda happy I am not the only one.
Did you ever have your finger checked out??  I need recommendations on whom to see!
Avatar universal
Hi  Tej_1234  ,

Exactly the same happening to me, in cold shower it starts to hurt. I have not seen a doctor per say but my fiance is  a Pediatrician and she told me not to worry about it as my nerve in thumb has become sensitive and is acting up. She told me to take some vitamins if required and forget about it , it will be ok on its own.

Lately the pain has subsided and all ok without any medication.
Avatar universal
I am having the same problem for the last week.  I have an indentation in the middle of my left thumbnail since I was in high school or college (at least 20 years).  It never gave me problems.  But all of a sudden, it's starting to hurt more and more each day.  The only thing I did was paint last week and I don't know if the excessive scrubbing off the paint from the fingers and fingernails would have made it worse.  I am going to see my doctor today, but I'm sure he'll probably refer me to a dermatologist.  I don't want to have my thumbnail removed...
Avatar universal
I'm experiencing exactly the same pain like an electric shock under my left thumb nail.  I would love to hear about any cures etc.
Avatar universal
My daughter had this same problem. Finally I took her to the emergency room when she was in so much pain she couldn't take it. Well ended up she had some how cut the skin under her finger nail. And it had gotten infected and you couldn't tell because the finger nail was in the way. The doctor ended up numbing her finger and then draining the puss. He gave her a cream to put under her nail and also told us to do finger soaks and to keep it covered when at school.or other places that have lots of germs around.
Avatar universal
I am experiencing the same issue in my left thumb. If it brushes my phone in my pocket its like getting electric shock. It has been doing this for over two years and has been getting worse to where I will be sitting in my chair watching tv and all of a sudden it feels like someone is jamming a splinter under my thumbnail. It can be worse in the morning. I work as a computer tech for 15 years and never had issue. I also play guitar and piano so my hands do get more than average use I suppose. But it started after I got a smartphone in 2012. Very frustrating.
Did you ever have your finger checked out??  I need recommendations on whom to see!
Avatar universal
I suspect it is Glomus tumor, just google it for more info.

dont worry , you can remove this by a small surgery.
I have had the same thing since I was 17 now I'm 28 it's on my left ringer finger nail but instead of just where it meets the skins it the whole nail very tender pressure like pain. Omg sometimes I forget when slipping on a pair of shoes and it gets smashed between my heel and the shoes the pain shoots up BAD. Also told a doctor before and got a weird look and no answer
Avatar universal
OH MY GOD!!! I have seriously been trying to figure out if I am the only one experiencing this for a LONG TIME. My pain is in my left thumb nail, only on the left side where the nail meets the skin. I figured it was something that would go away and when I finally told my doctor she kinda looked at me like I was joking. The pain is EXCRUCIATING. It can be triggered by barely touching it, rubbing it against something, hitting it on accident.. and the worst part is that the cold triggers it is as well. PLEASE tell me someone has figured something out?!?
Same. I just turned 13 and I was at a cheer competition when I felt like there was a piece of glass stuck under my thumb nail. it only hurts for a little while and goes away in like 10-15 minutes. but while the pain is there my thumb feels tight and right under my nail feels like I've been stabbed.
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