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What to Do If My Toenails Fall Off

Many people often experience a common condition known as onychoptosis. This is a medical condition where the toenails fall off. Although not a serious problem, it can however be scary and confusing for some people. Primarily, there are two reasons that the toenails may begin to fall off.

The individual is either suffering from a fungal infection or the toenails have endured some type of injury. Fungal infections are very contagious and are generally caused by a type of bacteria. Infection of a single toenail can occur but in most cases it has spread to the others before one realizes there is a problem. Initially, the fungus starts at the tip of the toenail and then moves under the nail. Some may experience pain and may notice a foul smell and as the severity of the infection increases the nail may crumble and split before it falls off.

Injury of the Toenail

Some individuals especially those involved in sports and fitness generally injure the toenails by causing extensive pressure to the toes while exercising or running. Others injure their nails by wearing shoes of some type that are too small. Large toenails may continually hit the inside of the shoe causing the toenail to bruise and in some instances this damages the underlying tissue of the nail bed forming a subungal hematoma. As a result of this, the toenail detaches from the bed of the nail and becomes very painful. In a short amount of time, the toenail itself turns black in color and falls off. Within a few months, a new toenail will grow back in replacement of the missing black toenail. Until this happens, one should take excellent care of the open nail bed by applying a disinfecting ointment and bandage to help in preventing any further infection.

Treating the Toenail

The main goal of treatment for toenails that fall off is to eliminate the root of the problem which is usually a fungus. Anytime an individual has pain associated with the toenails they should seek medical advice from their physician. Most doctors will prescribe medications to provide relief of pain and reduction of inflammation. In some cases, antifungal creams may be applied to the nail and an oral medication may be given in order to get rid of the bacteria.
The toenail may need to be surgically removed in cases where the topical and oral medication fails to work. Nails that have been injured often have an accumulation of fluid beneath the nail that may have to be drained by a physician. This procedure relieves swelling as well as the associated pain.

Home Remedies

Many people turn to home remedies for a wide variety of ailments such as those for toenails that fall off. One remedy to treat toenail fungus is the use of tea tree oil. It is recommended to rub this undiluted oil on the toenail two times a day for a period of about two weeks. It is suggested that the oil be rubbed and massaged thoroughly into the nail in order for it to be effective. Apple cider vinegar is another treatment for nail fungus. It acts as an antiseptic in aiding the irradiation of the infection. Individuals should soak the nails for fifteen minutes or longer in the apple cider vinegar that has been warmed but is not hot. Toenails should be dried completely following this soak and one should also make sure that the area between the toes is also dried. Another readily available source of treatment is rubbing alcohol. Many find it beneficial to soak their toenails in this alcohol for twenty minutes a day followed by thoroughly drying the nails.

Persistent Prevention

It is common knowledge that toenail fungus is a highly contagious infection caused by bacteria. To prevent infection of this kind, one should always wash their feet thoroughly and properly following the use of public swimming pools or showers. This bacteria thrives in dark, warm, and moist environments, therefore, avoidance of wearing shoes that are tight for long periods of time is necessary. This will cause the feet to sweat and allows for growth of the infection. There are many suggestions available in the prevention of infection of the toenails and one of the most overlooked yet one of the most important might be that of nail care. The toenails should be cared for on a regular basis and monitored for any abnormalities. Nails should be clipped straight across and the cuticles properly maintained. Most medical professionals will agree that prevention is the best treatment of all.
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