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It’s Gone! What to Do When a Nail Falls Off

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

When you’re making something, one of the last things you want are pieces falling off your project. It doesn’t matter if it’s a model, a bookshelf, a costume, or any other thing you’re making. Detaching pieces are a problem. It can be even more concerning when things like your toenails start detaching from your own body. A toenail falling off is more common than you might think. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can take care of your toe when this happens.


Toenails detach from the nail bed and fall off for a variety of reasons. Normally it’s related to some sort of trauma, like kicking something or dropping a heavy object on your toe. You may end up with black toenails first, then find the nail falling off later. Occasionally a severe fungal infection can cause your nail to detach as well.


It’s important to take care of your toe while the nail is detaching and once it falls off. If only part of the nail is detached, bandage your toe to prevent the loose nail from catching and tearing painfully. You may even want to clip and remove the loose part, then file down any sharp edges.


Once the loose nail is removed, soak your foot in a clean, cool foot bath to discourage any swelling. Then cover your toe with a bandage and protect your foot in closed-toe footwear. Change the bandage regularly. Salt foot baths can help discourage infections in the nail bed. Pay attention to signs of infection—like an increase in redness, swelling, feeling hot to the touch, and an increase in pain—and get immediate care if they appear. New nail tissue should regrow to protect your toe within a few months.


Toenails falling off can be disconcerting and occasionally uncomfortable, but with the right care you can protect the ends of your toes and avoid infections or other complications. If you have a toenail falling off that’s bothering you, or you have a preexisting condition that affects your circulation and immune system, let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC help you.


Contact our Metairie, LA, office at (504) 708-4810 or our Covington office at (985) 809-1464 for more information or to schedule a consultation today.


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