One of the worst feelings in the world is when you are peeling off a pair of socks and one of your toenails comes along with it. A toenail that detaches from the nail bed is a common occurrence. Typically, it happens because of an underlying condition or trauma. In less typical situations, chemicals, illness and medications can also cause the nail to become detached. If you lose a toenail, it is important to take the proper precautions while it heals and grows back. It is also important to figure out why it detached in the first place.
First Things First
After your toenail falls off you may be in a bit of a panic. What should I do with my newly-bare nail bed? Here are some tips on how to react before your appointment with your podiatrist:
- If only part of your toenail has fallen off, don’t try to remove the rest of it – let it be.
- If part of the detached nail is still barely hanging onto your toe and the rest of the attached part of the nail, get out a pair of sterile nail clippers. Carefully trim off the hanging piece so it does not catch and make the nail worse. If you are uncomfortable doing this, wait to see your podiatrist.
- Smooth out any jagged edges with a nail file.
- Clean your toe so there is no debris.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the site where the toenails fell off.
- Cover the area with a bandage.
- If your toenail has fallen off and will not stop bleeding, seek immediate medical care.
Why Did It Fall Off?
One reason your toenail could have fallen off is because of an injury. Car accidents, blunt force trauma, and sports can all damage your toenails.
If you received an injury to the foot and notice that your toenail is black or purple underneath, it could indicate that the nail will fall off. This discoloring is often due to the buildup of blood underneath the nail from an injury. Over time, as pressure increases, the nail may separate from the bed and fall off. If this nail is causing you pain, you should see a podiatrist immediately so that they can relieve the buildup of blood inside the nail.
Fungus can grow underneath the toenail. This can cause separation of the nail from the bed. Over time, as it progresses, the nail can fall off. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to treat the fungus before it progresses too far. A podiatrist can help prescribe the right antibiotic to kill the fungus before it leaves you with one fewer toenail.
Psoriasis can also cause you to lose a toenail. This is because, as the skin cells on the nail bed build up, they cause the nail to detach and eventually it will fall off. If you have symptoms such as pitting, thickening, or discoloration of the toenail, then you may have psoriasis. A foot doctor can determine whether or not you are suffering from this condition.
Losing a toenail is never fun, but a podiatrist can help you heal from the incident. Call Joseph Stuto, DPM of Brooklyn, New York. There Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Joseph C. Stuto can help you treat your detached toenail. Call 718-624-7537and make an appointment today.