Toenail falling off is something we don’t realize can happen until it happens. Even though a broken toenail is pretty common, many people are unaware of the causes and ways to treat it. Toenails help shield our toes from injuries and other factors. However, oftentimes the toenail itself ends up separating from the nailbed.

Keep reading to learn what causes this condition. We’ll also mention what to do if your toenail falls off.

Why Did My Toenail Fall Off?

Factors like fungal infection and injury can cause your toenail to fall off. Some symptoms can help you determine the reason behind your toenail falling off. The causes include:

1. You Injured Your Toenail

One of the common reasons behind a broken toenail is injury. So if you’ve had a car accident, sports injury, or dropped something on your foot, it could damage your toenail. If this is the case, the area under your toenail will appear purple or black. This is because the injury could lead to a subungual hematoma, causing blood to collect under the injured toenail. As a result, your toenail will be lifted but still attached.

Your toenail might fall off several weeks following the injury. You should receive medical attention as soon as possible, especially if the discoloration covers more than a quarter of your nail. The doctor might make a small hole in the toenail using a heated needle or wire to relieve pressure, given that you’re experiencing throbbing pain.

2. You Have a Fungal Toenail Infection

Another common reason behind a toenail falling off is fungi. They can grow between your nail bed and toenail, causing the following symptoms:

  • Toenail looks thicker
  • Yellow-brown or white discoloration on the nail
  • Toenails appear dry, brittle, or ragged
  • A foul odor coming off of the affected toe
  • The toenail takes an unusual shape 

Fungal infections are likely if you have an athlete’s foot or diabetes. Moreover, aging can also cause cracked toenails, allowing the fungus to invade the area. Drop by an expert doctor immediately if you notice the symptoms of fungal toenail infection. The treatment will depend on the severity of the infection and your specific case. Usually, oral, topical, or both antifungal medications are used to treat fungal infections.

3. You Have Psoriasis

An autoimmune condition, psoriasis, leads to the buildup of skin cells. Although it typically affects your skin, it can appear on your toenails as well. Mostly, psoriasis cases aren’t that serious and don’t cause many issues. Still, sometimes, the buildup can result in the toenail falling off. You might notice the following if psoriasis is affecting your toenail:

  • Thickening
  • Nail has an unusual shape
  • Pitting
  • Yellow or brown color
  • Chalky buildup under the affected nail

You might detach your toenail if you use sharp objects to remove the buildup yourself. This is why it’s crucial to contact a doctor for the best treatment.

What’s Next?

Injury, fungal infections, and psoriasis are the common reasons behind a toenail falling off. You can visit urgent care to get your broken nail treated. Internal Medicine Diagnostic Center provides the best and most effective treatments. Say hello to a healthy lifestyle and visit us at 18550 N. 6th Street, Magnolia, Texas 77354. You can also dial (281) 252-8600 to schedule an appointment.

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