What Causes a Toenail Falling Off?
Toenail falling off is a commonly occurring problem. Medically, it is known as onychoptosis. Toenail starts to fall off primarily because of two reasons. One is fungal infection of the toes and second is some kind of injury of the toenails. In both the cases, prior to falling off, the nail gets discolored. From the change in color, you can identify the exact underlying cause behind toenail fallingoff. What to do, to prevent the toenail from falling off, will be addressed later. Before that, let us gather some more information on the effect of fungal infection and injury on your toenail.
When your toenail begins falling off, the medical term used is onychoptosis. Onychoptosis is generally brought on by one of two events: an infection or injury. The falling off process can be painful and first aid steps are needed to care for the nail until medical treatment can be sought.
Causes of toenail falling off
Most commonly, the infections are contagious infections that are caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. This group attacks the nail, feeding on the keratin, the substance our nails are made of. Because of this, the infection spreads quickly, especially when in warm, moist places like shoes and socks.
Vital tips to prevent Toenail from Falling Off
Here are some tips to help you avoid one or more toenails from falling off:
Wear shoes made of breathable materials that offer stability, protection and balance
Use caution when performing in sports
Wear clean socks and shoes daily
Practice proper hygiene habits on a daily basis
Completely dry your feet after they have come into contact with water
At the first sign of breakage, bandage your toe or seek medical attention
Never rip or tear at a nail that has partially torn
If your toenail is partially detached, hold down the remaining nail with a loose bandage
If possible, wear shoes with steel toe boxes when working or being around heavy objects
Trim toenails straight across
Wear socks made of breathable materials
Shoes should be ½ to 1 inch longer than the longest toe
During the healing process, take extra care of your toenail
Symptoms of a Toenail Falling Off
There are several symptoms to watch for that indicate that a toenail may be falling off. Depending on the cause of the separation, symptoms may include:
For an injury:
Collection of blood under the nail
Loosening of the injured nail
For an infection::
Thickening of the nail
Brown, green or yellow toenails
Discharge coming from sides or bottom of nail
Treatment for Toenail Falling Off
The main aim of the treatment is to root out the fungal infection completely. Even if there is a slight infection left, it can spread to other toenails. When your toenail is hurting too much, you should consult a doctor or podiatrist. First off all, the doctor will administer some medications, that can provide relief from the pain and bring down the inflammation. Then the underlying cause is treated. If the cause is fungus, then an anti fungal cream needs to be applied along with some oral medications. In case, the fungal infection become serious and does not respond to the treatment, then surgical intervention may be required, where the affected toe nail is removed surgically. When it is caused by some injury, it is likely that some fluid is accumulated under the nail. So, once the pain subsides, your doctor will drain out the fluid and swelling and the pain will be relieved. To know more read on toenail fungus treatment.
Home remedy for treating toenail falling off
There are some home remedies that can act as effective cure for toes falling off. Here are the list of home remedies for toe nail falling off:
Tea tree oil is an excellent remedy for fungus on toenail. You have to rub well tea tree oil in its undiluted form, on the affected nail daily twice, for at least two weeks.
Application of apple cider vinegar is helpful in getting rid of the fungus on toenails. Dip your feet in to warm apple cider vinegar and keep it for about 15 minutes, then dry it off. Do this daily and you will find the infection going down within a few days.