Your Questions About Toenail Fell Off Now What

September 12, 2012

George asks…

My toenail fell off… now what?

I just had my big toenail fall off from what I believe was a fungal infection (the nail was thick and crumby). Little to none of the old nail is left, but my question is… now what? I have been keeping the area clean and applying antibiotic to avoid a bacterial infection, but should I be applying an antifungal cream as well? If so, what kind? (preferably something OTC) My other big toenail is also affected, if that matters.

Arline Burnett answers:

Your new toenail will grow in, slowly. To maximize the chances of its being smooth and healthy, here are some things you can do:

– Scrub your feet and toenails with soap and a brush daily when you bathe or shower. Wash the areas between your toes with a soapy washcloth, to remove all dead skin. Dry with a towel, and then walk around until your feet are completely dry.

– Get rid of any socks that are made of synthetics such as nylon or acrylic, and replace them with socks with a high cotton or wool content. Gold Toe makes a nice wool knee sock (expensive though).

– A really good OTC medication for fungal infections is Lamisil. It’s available as a cream, a spray, and a medicated powder. Go ahead and pitch your older shoes. Spray Lamisil liquid into the toe area of any shoes worth saving, and shake Lamisil powder into them when you wear them.

– A combination of tea tree oil (also available OTC) and Lamisil cream, applied with a Q-tip to your problem toenail and also between your toes, will keep them free from recurring fungal infection as they heal. Check the rest of your feet and ankles for loose, flaky skin, and treat those areas as well.

– Get a couple of foam-backed nail files, one coarse and one medium, at the drugstore. As your toenails grow, file them quite short, but don’t let the corners get so short that they cut into the ends of your toes as they grow (“ingrown toenails” can be painful). After each filing session, scrub the files with soap and water and let them dry.

– You’ll have to keep after your foot health consistently, if your body chemistry seems to encourage foot fungus. At the first sign of bad toenails or athlete’s foot, treat the condition right away.

– Further advice can be provided by a podiatrist (a specialist in foot conditions).

Mark asks…

My toenail fell off, i took it off, and now what?

Hi, my toenail was about to fall off. so for two days i put a bandaid on, then after 2 days i took the bandaid off, then i tripped and it went straight up, but was still attached to the bottom, like still stuck to the cuticul. well, then i peeled it off, and it didn’t hurt that much, and nothing happened after that. like, no blood or puss etc. then i read online that it was bad that i did that, and it could ruin the cuticul etc. what should i do now, cover it with a bandaid etc.? HELP!!!

Arline Burnett answers:


I don’t mean to laugh, but I did the EXACT same thing once.

Yes, your toe nail is now damaged and it won’t properly grow back. I don’t mean to scare you, but depending on how much of the toe nail was “Ripped out” and how much of the nail is still in your body, will determin how much will grow back and the shape of it / angle of the nail wont be normal again. Just hope your lucky!

Extra tim-bit here…

My grandfather had crushed two of his finger nails on his right hand when he was younger and unfortunately they didn’t grow back at all. Not even the cuticle is there anymore!! 0_0 Scary, but kinda neat!

Chris asks…

big tonail turned black and fell the other one is black?

at 1st i thought i droped something on my toe without noticing..and the toenail fell of after a week..and then i have just noticed my other big toenail has now turned black..what is going on?? im only 16 and pretty scared

Arline Burnett answers:

It is just dead nail. Something hard must have fallen on your toes or you may hit something hard that it caused the nails to be dead. It is actually natural for dead nails to fall off. So the key is that you need to keep it clean and dry.

Sandy asks…

My toenail fell off due to me excessively playing tennis it grew back with a dent…?

First it turned black and fell off, now i see my new nail has a dent on it and it looks very ugly! Can this be fixed? What kind of doector do i need to see? Safe to apply nail polish? Final question, is it possible for my nail to look normal again? Thank you.
My new nail isn’t a normal color its a mixture of black and a beige. So even a doctor cannot fix this? Also one of the solutions I was given will not work because I can’t do it, I can’t quiit tennis.

Arline Burnett answers:

Like the above poster, the base of your toenail where is grows from has suffered trauma. Imagine smashing a hammer on the tip of your toenail. That part will eventually go flat. Move closer to the base and do the same thing. Within a week you will see a dent. This will go away when you decide to stop all excessive movements. My pinky toenail has always been sunked in. After giving up basketball for a while, i was so surprised that it was nice and round and SMOOTH

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