Toenail Falling Off: Causes, Care And Treatment

Toenail Falling Off

Toenail falling off is a common condition; many people face this problem and is generally caused by some injury, nail infection, fungus, or psoriasis. Another cause of toenail falling apart can be excessive use of chemicals or consumption of some medicines.

Falling of the toenail can cause severe pain in some cases. After falling off, the toenail takes a long time to grow back. The growth of the new toenail depends upon the severity of the broken nail; if some part of the nail is broken, then the new nail will grow faster. However, in case of the whole nail falling off, it might take a longer time to grow back properly.

We understand that toenail falling might feel like your whole world falling apart, but relax! This is not the end of the world. Even if you lose a toenail, as long as there’s nothing interfering with the growth of new nail-growing cells, the new toenail will appear very soon. So, stop worrying; this article is here to give you full insight about toenail falling off and guide you to take all the required steps for proper aftercare.

Main Cause of toenail fall off:

In day-to-day lifestyle, there might be many incidents or instances that might lead to toenail fall off; some of them are:


Injuries can be caused due to many incidents like car accidents, hitting the edge of the table, dropping something heavy on a toenail accidentally, or many more. In some cases, these injuries can turn out to be the reason for the toenail fall off.

To identify whether the toenail has been injured, check the color of the toenail. If it’s purple or red, then there are high chances of nail injury. This red or purple color appears due to subungual hematoma; it collects blood under the toenail, which causes the toenail to fall off.

In case of pain or itching in the toe, see a doctor to get it checked and treated if required, as long-term pain may lead to serious damage to the toe.

Otherwise, To treat the mild injury at home, follow the below process:

  • Keep the nail in cold water for 20 minutes
  • Clean the injured area by using antiseptic liquids.
  • Apply a fresh bandage daily for 7-8 days
  • Take painkillers to get rid of pain

After eight days, the dead toenail will fall off and new toenail will start to grow. However, the new nail might take around six months to two years to grow back to its proper length.


The fungus can be caused by tight shoes, dirt, and skin infections. Fungi can grow in between the nails and under the toenail, which would eventually lead to toenail fall off. In some cases, fungal infections can also occur due to diabetes or low blood pressure.

Following are some symptoms of fungal toenail infection:

  • Thicker toenail
  • Yellow or brown discoloration of the toenail
  • Ragged or brittle toenails
  • Stain from toenail
  • Unusual shape

If you are an athlete, it is very common to catch a fungal infection in your toe. To prevent fungal infections, below mentioned hygiene routine should be followed:

  • Keep your feet dry
  • Change socks daily
  • Wear breathable shoes
  • Trim the nails
  • Use disinfectant
  • Wash feet 4 times in a day

Fungal infections can be hard to treat; it depends upon the condition of fungus. If the infection is mild, then it can be treated by maintaining proper hygiene and taking medicines, but if the condition is severe, then you must see the doctor.


It is an autoimmune condition; psoriasis causes the skin cells to build up. It appears on the skin and damages the toenail.

Psoriasis is not a big problem; it can be treated by proper hygiene or doctor’s treatment.

Symptoms of psoriasis are:

  • Pitting
  • Thickening
  • Unusual nail shape
  • Yellow or brown color
  • Chalky buildup under nail

To avoid psoriasis, stop removing extra skin under nails with sharp objects; it can make your toenail detached. Instead, soak the feet in warm water and smooth the edges of the nail by using filler. Keep the nails moisturized. 

If these precautions are not helping, then concern yourself with a doctor. Generally, the doctor suggests steroids or phototherapy to treat psoriasis.

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General signs of infections in toenail

Some general signs of infections are:

  • Pus
  • Bleeding
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

In case one part of a toenail has fallen off, there is no need to remove the full nail. It can be fixed by trimming the edges of the nail, soaking the feet in warm water, and using an antibiotic liquid. But in case of severe pain and any of the above symptoms, it is recommended to concern a doctor to get the proper treatment.

Things to take care of after toenail fall off

Toenail fall off is a very painful condition, to avoid any further infection or damage, one should focus upon the aftercare process.

Following are some points that might help you in the aftercare process:

  • avoid touching the toe skin
  • Trim all other nails
  • Use a nail filler to smooth the edges.
  • Clean your toes by antibiotic liquids
  • Apply fresh bange daily 
  • Take painkillers
  • Avoid tight footwear
  • Cover toe with some bandage
  • Keep the toe clean.

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The bottom line

Toenail falling off is a general condition; it can be prevented by keeping proper safety while working, walking, playing, or driving. Broken or fallen-off toenails can be fixed easily by following some home remedies or taking a proper treatment from the concerned doctor. However, in both cases, maintaining proper hygiene is a must, as it prevents any further infection or damage to the toe. Toenail falling off is not a severe problem as the new nail grows back within a time period of 6 months to 2 years easily, and it will look exactly the same as the previous one. 

So, while your new nail is on its way, let us know in the comment section how this article helped you with the aftercare of your toe and toenail.