Can Long Nails Cause Finger Pain?

As well as being useful tools that protect our fingers and toes, our nails can also give us a sense of how our bodies are doing. They can point us to some minor or severe health issues we were previously unaware of.

As well as many other people, you may be wondering: can long nails cause finger pain?

Yes, long nails can cause finger pain if the nails are too long for comfort. The nail should be about half an inch from the fingertip.

In this post, we will discuss the factor causing this and how you can care for your long nails.

What Your Nails Say About You

Do you know that your nails say a lot about you? Long nails especially are a form of identity, a means to know how messy or organized you are. How healthy you are can also be known by your nails. Which means that your nails are an important part of your body.

Nails are made of a substance called keratin, which grows from the cuticle on the surface of the nail bed and into the nail itself. When you have nail health problems, your nails can fail to grow properly or look weird.

Many nail problems are the result of short-term injuries and irritations that don’t improve with treatment and can cause lasting damage. However, some conditions that affect the look and feel of fingernails, like clubbing and pitting, may be signs of more serious health problems.

What Happens When Your Nails Get Too Long?

Long nails can be a good look, do you know what happens when they’re getting too long? Many things can happen when you have long nails. They get stuck in stuff, they break off easily, they don’t look good with certain clothing and they can even damage your cuticles. And, importantly, they can hurt.

Why Do Long Nails Hurt?

Healthy nails are shiny and pink, and they shouldn’t hurt. Some causes of nail pain go away on their own, but others need to be treated. Here are a few reasons why your long nails hurt;

1. Paronychia

Nail infections (paronychia) are a common cause of pain in the nails. If you get an infection on your finger, it can make it swell and turn red, especially around the cuticle. People who have nail infections may also see pus coming out of their nails.

Fingernails get infected most often when bacteria gets into a cut on the cuticle, nail bed, or finger and spreads. Nail infections can be very serious, and in some cases, they need to be treated by a doctor.

2. Fungal Nail Infection

It can happen when a fungus gets into an injury on, under, or around the nail. Some fungal nail infections are caused by the same bacteria that cause athlete’s foot. But other fungi, like yeasts and moulds, can also hurt the nails.

The fungus can also make nails turn yellow or white. Other signs of a fungal nail infection:

  • Crumbling
  • thickening
  • splitting
  • The nail is separated from the skin

The fungus can quickly spread to other nails and even the skin if you don’t treat it. The nail bed will be permanently damaged in rare cases, but this is very rare.

3. Ingrown Nail

Ingrown nails may cause the sides of your nails to bend into the skin, which makes the skin more painful. After a person hurts their nail or wears shoes that are too short or tight, this painful condition can happen. It looks like the big toe is the one that is most likely to get an ingrown nail.

Signs of ingrown nails:

  • pain
  • redness
  • soreness
  • swelling
  • tenderness

4. Hangnail

Hangnails aren’t nails at all. They’re pieces of skin that fall off the edge of your nail and fall off. Hangnails are a very common type of painful nail condition that can be caused by many different things. Some of the causes are nail-biting, dry skin, soaps that are too harsh, and cold weather.

They might bleed if your nails are hanging off of your finger. You should not cut off your hangnails because it puts you at risk of infection.

5. Physical Injuries

They can be hurt if something heavy falls on them or get stuck in a door. This is because there are a lot of nerves under and around the nails. The nail may be bruised after a physical injury, or it may fall off before it grows back. Bruised nails might hurt as they heal.

6. Nail-biting

Nail-biting can make your fingers red and painful, and it can also make your cuticles bleed, which is bad for your health. It is very likely that you will get a nail infection when you bite your nails. This is because you bite the skin around your nails and the cuticle, too. Most of the time, stopping nail biting is enough to control the painful symptoms it causes.

7. Nails abnormalities

Some nail abnormalities are inborn, some are caused by disease, and some are caused by wearing bad shoes or biting your nails. People who cut or push their cuticles all the time can also have problems. Some, like nails with hooks, can hurt.

How to Treat Long Nail Pain

To be able to treat the pain with your long nails, you need to first find out where exactly is the pain from. This can sometimes help you figure out what’s going on with your nails.

1. What if It Hurts on the Side or Corner of Your Nail?

There are many things that can cause pain on the side or corner of a nail: hangnail, biting one’s fingernails, nails that are too long, damage to the nails, infection and abnormality

It’s best to leave your nails alone if you have a hangnail, a broken nail, or if you’ve been biting your nails. Take care not to cut off your hangnails, and let them grow out as long as possible. The best way to keep your nails in good shape is to clean and trim them on a regular basis.

2. When Your Nail Beds Hurt

A lot of things can potentially cause the pain that comes from under your nail, one of which is infection and fungus on the nails.

If your nails hurt because of an infection, you’ll need more treatment than if you have a different problem. Antibacterial cream that is sold over the counter may be all that is needed to get rid of pain and other symptoms caused by infections caused by bacteria.

Most of the time, fungal nail infections can be treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream. You may need to go and see a doctor to treat more serious infections, as they will prescribe stronger antibiotics or antifungal medications. A doctor might give you a pill to take by mouth.

3. Pain in the Cuticles

It can be caused by: nail-biting, hangnail, physical damage, infection, fungus on the nails, and Nail abnormalities. A part of the nail called the cuticle is very important because it helps protect the new nail as it grows. If you want your cuticles to stay healthy, you should take care of them the right way.

When you have an injury or any of the above, it can be painful. Soaking your hands in warm water and taking painkillers can help. For problems with your nails that don’t get better with treatment, see a doctor.

4. Split, peel, or brittle Nails

You can get these kinds of problems if you wash your hands a lot with water, strong soaps, and other chemicals. You will avoid some of these problems if you use lotion and don’t keep your hands in water too often.

5. Changes in Colour

It’s very common for little white marks (leukonychia) to show up after a small accident. Some of them may last for weeks or months, but they go away on their own when they are done most of the time.

The colour of a nail can change after it has been hurt. Because blood is under the nail, the black or purple-black colour will fade as the wound heals. If you see dark spots under a nail that hasn’t been cut or bruised, you might have Melanoma. If you realize that the colour is not changing back, you can go see a doctor to be sure that it is not serious.


A lot of things can cause finger pain, including keeping long nails, infections, hangnails, nail abnormalities and other underlying causes. You should get yourself the best tools for your manicure or visit a professional. If after you have clipped your nails you still feel pain, please seek medical advice.


1. Causes of Fingernail and Toenail Pain, and How to Treat It

2. Health Problems Associated With Long Nails

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