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ask: I have little sliver like things under my nails. What are they and what is the cause of them?

By Anonymous
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Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

If you have what look like red or brown little streaks underneath your fingernails, it is possible that you have what are called splinter hemorrhages. These lines of blood are caused by tiny damaged blood vessels. They look like splinters beneath the fingernail but are actually in the fingernail.

According to the NHS Choices website, just a few splinters under one nail are nothing to worry about and most likely due to injury to the nail. However, if many nails are affected, these splinters may be a sign of an infection of the heart valves or another serious underlying disease.

Please consult your health care provider if more than one fingernail is affected.


February 20, 2012 - 6:37pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

They are under more than one nail so i will take your advice and go see the doctor about them. Thank you Maryann

February 20, 2012 - 9:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

There is nothing inside. Its not something that I can pull out. is the reason why I am getting these because of a symptom that there something wrong with me? These sliver like things just appear out of nowhere. Like some kind of blood sliver. When my nails grow out they grow with the nail. Its inside of the fingernail its self.

February 20, 2012 - 10:32am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anon,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Have you tried looking to see if there's anything inside.  You might want to try and pull it out, carefully. If not, you might have to see your doctor. 

Here are some of the causes for a sliver

  • Wood-organic FBs: splinters, cactus spines, thorns, toothpicks
  • Metallic FBs: bullets, BBs, nails, sewing needles, pins, tacks
  • Fiberglass spicules
  • Fishhooks: May have a barbed point that makes removal difficult
  • Glass
  • Pencil lead-graphite
  • Plastic FBs
  • Best,


    February 20, 2012 - 5:45am
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