19 Nov Loose toenail?
Whether you have stubbed your toe or dropped a heavy object on the nail, if your toenail feels loose, you need to have it taken care of.
Your toenail may become loose due to a subungual hematoma (blood collects under the nail), changes it to a dark color and separates the nail from the nail bed.
Another reason for a loose or detached toenail can be nail fungus. A fungal infection can detach the nail from the nail bed, especially in severe cases.
Psoriasis is another condition that can occur under the nails, causing them to loosen. A detached nail will not reattach.
For people undergoing chemotherapy, nails may fall off as a side effect of treatment.
If you have a loose toenail
Avoid tight shoes which can put pressure on the nail. Wear wide toed footwear with sufficient space for your toes.
Avoid sports and activities to allow time for the area to heal.
Trim or file the free edge of the loose nail to prevent it from getting caught in socks but only if it is not painful to do so.
Soak your feet for 10-20 mins in lukewarm salt water to prevent infection.
Use non-adherent (non-sticky) dry dressings to prevent the nail getting ripped off by sticky surfaces. The nail should fall off naturally, where possible.
People with medical conditions, such as diabetes, should immediately see a podiatrist and not try to self-treat.
What will a Podiatrist do?
A podiatrist will check where the nail is detached to ascertain if it is possible to remove the nail. They will prepare the nail bed to allow the nail to grow back normally. The podiatrist may also give you further instructions to take care of the nail and/or the toe.