Although it is common, a detached toenail can be very painful. It’s usually caused by an injury, fungal infection, or psoriasis. Your toenail can also fall off due to chemicals, certain medications, or serious illness.
Once your toenail falls off, it can’t reattach itself and keep growing. You’ll need to wait for the new nail to grow back in its place. Depending on the cause of your problem and how severe your toenail is, you may need to give your toenail additional treatment.
Regardless of what caused your toenail to fall off, there’s a few things you can do right after it happens to avoid any other problems.
Here are some quick tips.
- If only part of your toenail has fallen off, don’t try to remove the rest of it.
- To prevent the toenail from catching on your socks or clothing, trim it with a nail clipper if it is still attached to your foot. Your doctor can help you do this if you’re not comfortable doing it on your own.
- Use a Nail file to smoothen any jagged or sharp edges
- Make sure to clean your toes and remove any debris. Antibiotic ointment
- Apply a bandage to the area where your nail fell off.
- Seek immediate treatment if your entire toenail falls off or the area around your toenail won’t stop bleeding.
Simple foot injuries could cause your toenail fall off. Toenails can be damaged by sports, car accidents, and even dropping something on your feet.
Your toenail might appear black or purple if you injure it. Subungual hemorhage, which is when blood collects under the injured toenail, causes this. Blood can build up under your nail and cause it to separate from the nail bed. It can take several days for your toenail fully to fall off.
If the subungual hemorhage covers more than one quarter of your toenail, you should consult your doctor. To relieve pressure, your doctor may use a heated wire or needle to create a small hole in the toenail.
You can also treat your injured toe at-home by:
- For 20 minutes, soak it in coldwater
- It can be raised
- Clip any jagged or sharp edges of the nail remaining.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment and clean any exposed areas of your nail bed
- Apply a new bandage every day for 7-10 days or until the skin becomes hard.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications), can be taken. ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin (to relieve pain
Depending on the toenail that was damaged, it may take up to two years for the nail’s to fully grow back. To avoid any future injuries, trim your nails carefully and wear well-fitting shoes.
Fungi can grow between the nail bed and your toenail, eventually causing your nails to fall off.
A fungal infection of the toenails can be symptomatic as follows:
- Noticeably thicker nails
- Your toenails may be discolored yellowish-brown or white.
- Dry, brittle, or ragged nails
- Bad odor coming from the toes
- unusual toenail shape
If you have athlete’s foot, it can turn into a fungal toenail infection. Poor circulation in your feet can also increase your risk of fungal infections in your toenails.
Your nails can become dry as you get older. This can lead to nails cracking and fungus entering your nail bed.
It is possible to treat fungal toenail infection. This depends on the severity of your condition. The infection will usually heal on its own in mild cases. If you have diabetes, it’s important to tell your doctor about any type of infection in your feet because reduced circulation can make the problem worse.
Treatment of fungal toenail infection usually involves either oral or topical antifungal medicines. Your doctor may recommend one or both depending on the severity of your condition. Oral antifungal medications are more effective than any over-the-counter treatments. They also reduce the likelihood of your new nail becoming infected.
You might need to take medication for as long as 12 weeks. You won’t see results until your new toenail has completely grown in. Side effects of oral antifungal medications can be numerous. Talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms, such as a rash, fever, or other side effects.
You can also use home remedies to treat a fungal infection of the toenails. In rare cases, surgery may need to be performed to remove the affected toenail.
You can prevent fungal nail infections by:
- keeping your feet dry
- Change your clothes often
- Wear Shoes that are breathable
- Maintain neat nails
- disinfecting your nail clippers
- Wear shoes in damp areas such as locker rooms or spas.
Psoriasis can be described as an autoimmune condition that causes skin cells and other body parts to become irritated. It can also affect the toenails. Many cases of nail psoriasis are mild and don’t cause many problems. Sometimes though, your toenail can fall off due to the buildup skin cells in your nail beds.
Psoriasis is a condition where your toenail shows signs and symptoms.
- Unusual nail shape
- Yellow or brown color
- chalky buildup under nail
Avoid removing any extra skin beneath your nail with a sharp object. This can cause your toenail to become more susceptible to separating. Instead, soak your feet in warmwater and use a file to smoothen the edges of any remaining toenails. You can also moisturize your feet and toes by keeping them moisturized. There are many moisturizers to choose from. here.
Your doctor may recommend topical steroids that you apply to your cuticle and toenails. Phototherapy may also be recommended by your doctor. The treatment involves exposing the affected toes UV rays. In rare cases, it may be necessary to remove the rest of the toenail.
Nail fungus and nail psoriasis can appear very similar. Here’s how to tell them apart.