Onychoptosis, the loss of a nail, is a condition where a portion or the entire toenail or fingernail fall off. It can be associated with either a fungal infection or personal injury/overuse. Typically, as the nail detaches from the nail-bed, it becomes discolored before falling off.
Managing Fungal Infections
There are various fungal infections that can lead to loss of a toenail. Typically, the infection develops at the top edge of the toenail and progresses as it moves down the nail toward the nail bed. As the nail becomes more damaged, it may eventually fall off. It is important to note that the new nail that grows in will also be infected by the fungus unless it is properly treated.
Since toenail fungus can look like other conditions, including psoriasis, you’ll want to have your toenail checked by a doctor. You may need to see a podiatrist or a dermatologist.
The way you treat toenail fungus depends on which fungus you have and how bad the infection is. Your doctor may try one thing or a combination:
- A topical cream that goes directly on the nail
- A topical nail lacquer
- An antifungal prescription pill
- Removing the damaged area of the nail or skin
- Essential Oils
Managing Personal Injury/Overuse
If your toenail has been damaged from personal injury or overuse, be sure to have proper hygiene for your feet to maintain healthy skin. Protect any broken or damaged toenails with a bandage to ensure no further damage is done. Always be sure to keep your feet dry and clean, changing socks at least once a day and drying them thoroughly after showering. Also, be sure to choose footwear that has a high, wide toe box to prevent shoes from irritating your feet during everyday wear or activity.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only. The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional. You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.