Here’s how to care for a fingertip avulsion at home:
• Clean the wound with mild soap and water, and then rinse it with clean water.
• Apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound to help prevent infection.
• Cover the wound with a sterile dressing with firm but not overly-tight pressure.
• Use a splint or wrap to keep the wound immobile.
• Change the dressing every day, or as needed.
• Apply an ice pack to the injured area to reduce swelling.
• Monitor the wound for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, and drainage.
• Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help manage pain.
Reasons to come to the ER:
• If there is any exposed bone present.
• If there is any associated crush injury with concern of a broken bone.
• If the tissue is badly torn or contaminated and needs aggressive cleaning.
• If you cannot get the bleeding to stop. This is the main reason we see people in the urgent care or emergency room. However, usually if you keep firm and consistent pressure on the wound and do not keep looking, it will stop. Use increased caution if you are on blood thinners.