A partly or fully detached toenail is a quite painful and unpleasant experience. Yet, it's familiar, and usually, there's no room for significant concerns.
Most of the time, a toenail will grow in a year, and you will forget all about it.
However, you ought to know what to when the injury occurs and when to seek help if you're suspecting there's more to it. Though toenails falling off isn't a sign, it can easily be connected to internal diseases.
First aid when your toenail falls off
A detached toenail is usually caused by an injury, fungal infection, or psoriasis. Yet, some chemicals, medications, illness, and conditions can also make your toenails fall off.
Despite the cause, the first thing to do is not touch what's left without properly disinfecting your tools and hands.
If it's only a piece missing, use nailclippers to remove any parts that might catch onto your socks. You can also use a nail file to make the surface smoother.
Clean the toenail, and apply antibiotic ointment, and finally place a bandaid. If the bleeding doesn't stop, seek help immediately.
In most cases, the new nail will grow, but if you're feeling anxious, go to a dermatologist or your doctor. It might be an infection that needs proper treatment. It can also be a sign that you're low on minerals or vitamins, so you don't want to take any chances.
It's essential to visit the doctor if there was no injury before losing your toenails.
Causes of toenails falling off
There are several causes, and each requires different treatment.
Though common, when your toenails are falling off, there might be several issues that can be helped with little assistance from professionals.
Similarly, some severe illnesses might be the cause, but you should not start panicking.
1. Fungus infection
One of the causes that you're losing toenails might be onycholysis. It's a medical condition that affects at least 10 percent of the population, 20% of persons older than 60, and 50% of those older than 70.
This fungus infection may cause discoloration, thickening and it requires non-invasive medical help. Though many think it's only related to fingernails, it often causes stress to toenails.
Your toenail will eventually grow back, but it's good to know what caused this unfortunate infection and how to keep your other nails from facing the same destiny.
With age, your nails are stying to get dryer. And sometimes that may cause them to break, even fall off. Once the fungus infection is present, it's important to take steps because mild cases require small help.
You can prevent the infection by keeping your feet hydrated, wearing comfy shoes, and caring about your feet and nails' health.
2. Psoriasis and toenails
Psoriasis is another common enemy of the toenails.
This autoimmune condition causes the skin cells to build up. It usually first starts appearing on the skin, and it spreads to your finger and toenails.
Your nails get brownish color, and there's chalky build-up under the nail. Your first aid is moisturizer.
If the condition worsens, your doctor will give you steroids to rub into your cuticles and on your toenails.
Nail psoriasis looks a lot like nail fungus. However, with psoriasis, it's more likely for a toenail to fall off, detach from its bed completely.
While nail fungus can cause odor, psoriasis causes pain.
Yet, the biggest difference is that psoriasis affects your skin first, while infection can be related to your toenails only.
3. Toenails falling off from injuries
Any sort of trauma can cause your toenail to fall off.
It's a widespread injury for runners since the repetitive action of your toe hitting the front of the shoe can cause harm.
If there's bleeding, apply the pressure until it stops. Then, clean the skin beneath with cleanser and water and apply an antibiotic cream to prevent infection before covering the open wound with a bandage.
You want to clean up the area; otherwise, you're risking an infection.
If you're going overboard with a pedicure, you're in the risking of losing a toenail due to continuous small injuries.
Often, the pedicure tool pushes too far under the nail, and it's undoubtedly causing trauma and loosening the toenail.
Also, prolonged immersion in water only speeds up the process of losing your toenail. That's why many swimmers easily lose their nails as well.
4. Internal Diseases and toenails
Some diseases and conditions, such as iron-deficient anemia, amyloid, multiple myeloma, hyperhidrosis, and hyperthyroidism, can cause your toenails to fall off.
Chemotherapy also causes stress to your nails. The most common toenail problem related to chemotherapy is onycholysis,
Lupus can cause the nails to crack or fall off since it's another disease where your immunity is under constant attack.
Anytime your immune system is compromised, you will notice changes in your hair and nails.
Though some suggest that toenails falling off is an early symptom of cancer, there is no research to support this theory. Both finger and toenails can only show you whether they are infected and if you need more vitamins and minerals.
If your toenails are falling off, it might be time to do blood tests to exclude or get the right treatment for diseases and conditions. You can actually say a lot about one's health just by looking at a finger or toenails. Discoloration, splitting, and peeling are all signs that there are some internal issues.
However, nail changes are not the first sign that something's wrong. Not every person with white nails has hepatitis. To avoid additional stress, which will only harm your immune system, talk to a specialist.