What To Do If Your Toenail Is Falling Off

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.

 

Managing Ingrown Toenails At Home

When you have an ingrown toenail, you don’t usually want people looking at your toes. They can be swollen, infected and less than sexy! So I put together this post about ingrown toenails and how to prevent and treat them, so you can show off your sexy toes.

Known to physicians as onychocryptosis, ingrown toe nails are a common, painful condition that occur when skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself grows into the skin. This condition is usually very painful and can be associated with infection of the toe. Some ingrown toenails are chronic, with repeated episodes of pain and infection. Irritation, redness, an uncomfortable sensation of warmth, as well as swelling can result from an ingrown toenail.

Causes

In some cases ingrown toenails are congenital, such as toenails that simply are too large. People whose toes curl, either congenitally or from diseases like arthritis, are prone to ingrown toenails. Often trauma, like stubbing a toe or having a toe stepped on, can cause a piece of the nail to be jammed into the skin. Repeated trauma, such as the pounding to which runners typically subject their feet, also can cause ingrown nails.

The most common cause is cutting your toenails incorrectly, causing them to re-grow into the skin. Tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes only make matters worse. If the skin is red, painful or swollen on the sides of the nail, an infection may be present. This occurs because the ingrown nail is often in a warm, moist and bacteria-rich environment. When the nail penetrates the skin, it provides a convenient entry for germs that can cause infection. Untreated, the nail can go under the skin, causing a more severe infection. In either case, the infection needs to be cured with sterile instruments and antibiotics.

Treatment & Prevention

Ingrown toenails should be treated as soon as they are recognized. In many cases, people with uninfected ingrown toenails can obtain relief with the following simple regimen:

  • Soak the feet in warm salt water
  • Dry them thoroughly with a clean towel
  • Apply a mild antiseptic solution to the area
  • Bandage the toe

infection

If excessive inflammation, swelling, pain or discharge is present as in the above photo, the toenail probably is infected and should be treated by a physician. A podiatrist can trim or remove the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure. He or she can remove the offending portion of the nail or overgrown skin with a scalpel and treat the infection. Unless, the problem is congenital, the best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to protect the feet from trauma and wear shoes with adequate room for the toes.

trim

Cutting toe nails properly goes a long way toward the prevention of ingrown toenails. Using a safety nail clipper, cut the nails straight across, so that the nail corner is visible. If you cut the nail too short, you are inviting the nail corner to grow into the skin. It is the natural tendency, when the edge of the nail starts to grow in, to cut down at an angle at the nail edge, to relieve the pain. This does relieve the pain temporarily, but it also can start a downward spiral, training the nail to become more and more ingrown.

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.