Toenail breakage and falling off are problems that we encounter very frequently. And injury along with fungal infection are the leading causes for toenails to separate from the nail bed. Regarding a toenail falling off due to injury, the condition is very painful and one needs to follow few first aid steps for the caring of a bruised toenail. In medical terms, separation of toenails, either partially or entirely from the nail bed comes under onychoptosis.
Signs of Toenail Falling Off
Runners, athletes, and sportspersons who wear sport shoes in most of the instances are at a higher risk of this condition. What happens is that the toenails are subjected to repeated collision with the shoes, which overtime cause injury to the tissues underneath the nail. As a consequence, minor damage of blood vessels occur below the nail, resulting in bleeding. Accumulation of blood can be identified from the dark coloration of the nails. Other notable signs of a bruised toenail are pain, discoloration, and loosening of the affected nail.
Regarding toenail falling off due to fungus, there are some noticeable signs, such as thickening, splitting, and yellowish (or brownish) coloration of the affected toenail. Toenail fungus also causes pain, swelling, and inflammation signs. At times, discharge of smelly fluid from the sides or bottom of the nail is observed. Some people even experience toenail falling off for no reason. For such cases, addressing the problem by a trusted doctor is imperative to rule out underlying medical problems.
This condition is usually associated with bleeding. One should not panic at the sight of this problem. Rather be calm and act gently to avoid further complications. Put gentle pressure to the injured toe for about 5 minutes to stop the bleeding. Check the affected toenail, whether it is torn partly or entirely. In the former case, one would need to trim off the loosened portion; while for entire breakage, separate it from the nail bed.
A toenail that has fallen off completely is not an issue to worry about. Although it looks unsightly, one would observe the development of a new nail within a few days to a week's time. In case of new toenail growth, maintain cleanliness and allow it to grow at its own pace. For bleeding and blood clotting underneath the nail, consulting a doctor is advisable. The podiatrist may try to remove the clotted blood from below the discolored toenail to save the affected nail.
Similar to any type of injury, it is very important to keep the area clean and prevent toenail infection. So, wash the bruised toenail and adjacent skin areas with lukewarm water. Then, dab the area dry with a clean towel. Every individual should consider toenail injury treatment as early as possible. Those who have blood clotting problems, diabetic condition, and circulation disorders must take extra care, while dealing with toenail falling off, injury to toenail, and alike cases.
The best treatment approach is to prevent it from occurring and following proper nail care. Tips to prevent toenails from falling off are wearing comfortable shoes (not very tight) and keeping the nails short to minimize injury. While selecting running shoes, one should purchase convenient ones, which leave room for the toenails. Wearing the same shoes, even while running or jogging, would cause lesser trauma to the toenails.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.