Splinter Hemorrhages

Small areas that bleed under the fingernails or toenails are called Splinter Hemorrhages.These little hemorrhages are thin, red to reddish-brown lines that lay under the nail.

Splinter hemorrhages look like thin, red to reddish-brown lines of blood under the nails which run in the same direction of nail growth. They are named splinter hemorrhages for their similarity of splinters under a nail.

These tiny hemorrhages may be caused by tiny clots that damage the capillaries under your nails.

If you have not just recently caused injury to your finger/nail here are the reasons.

Endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart valves, can be to blame.

Vasculitis that can damage the small capillaries due to swelling of the blood vessels.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • When did you first notice this?
  • Have you had an injury to the nails recently?
  • Do you have endocarditis, or has your health care provider suspected that you have endocarditis?
  • What other symptoms do you have, such as shortness of breath, fever, general ill feeling, or muscle aches?

If you have any of these it may be wise to visit your Doctor.

Article: Medline Plus