It’s Not The End Of The World If Your Toenail falling off

toenail falling offIf you’ve become a victim of onychomycosis, it means a toenail falling off. This is something we really don’t care to think too much about. The thought of a toenail falling off can be a little scary, and it would seem involve more than a little pain. The truth is, losing a toenail isn’t all that uncommon, although under certain circumstances it could be painful.

Losing A Toenail Due To An Injury

More often than not, when we lose a toenail, it’s either due to an injury, or to a fungal problem. Let’s look at injuries first. An injury doesn’t have to be one that  would be caused by hitting a toenail with a hammer, although that can go a long ways towards making a toenail fall off. Ill-fitting shoes, or anything else that puts pressure that normally shouldn’t be there on the toes, can damage the anatomy of a toenail to the point that it will eventually fall off.

Marathon runners are famous for leaving a toenail or two behind on occasion. They don’t usually lose a toenail during the race itself, unless the toenail has been  injured previously, but they often lose one or more toenails sometime after a race has been completed. The nails don’t just drop off. They normally turn black first.

Having a black toenail is sometimes referred to as having a runner’s toe. More often, it’s simply called a black toenail.

People who run marathons usually take great care in selecting and wearing shoes that not only fit well, but fit perfectly. The problem is, during the course of a marathon, the feet tend to swell. The perfect-fitting shoe the runner started the race with, can easily become an ill-fitting or too-tight fitting shoe well before the 26-mile marker has been reached. The pressure the shoe puts on the toes, coupled with the pressure put on the toes by the pounding of the feet, can be very hard on a toenail’s anatomy.

There are many first-time marathoners who, when asked how they did in the race, might answer, “Not too bad, but a toenail fell off.” Those who have run marathons for many years can still have the problem, although they usually take steps to avoid it, and are usually at least somewhat successful in doing so.

What a runner’s toe is could be described as a toe injury that has happened in slow-motion, unlike hitting a toe with a hammer, but with the same effect. Blood forms underneath the nail, making the toe appear black. The pressure from the blood can at times make the toe quite painful. As a rule of thumb, the greater the area under the nail that’s black, the greater the chances are the nail will eventually fall off.

It should be noted that a toenail doesn’t always just fall off. In most instances it stays there while a replacement grows underneath it. The new toenail eventually pushes the old toenail away.

Toenail Falling Off Due To A Fungal Infection

A fungal infection destroys a toenail in somewhat of a different manner, but the end result is the same. The toenail falling off. A fungal infection may start near the end of the nail, and will often become noticeable as the fungus becomes thicker and thicker. At this stage, the nail isn’t in any particular danger.

The fungus may eventually begin to work its way into any tiny openings that exist between the nail and the nail bed. Sometimes when it does so, the pressure may cause some pain or discomfort, but at other times it doesn’t. The fungus feeds on the keratin in the nail, eventually weakening the nail. At some point the nail becomes weak, discolored, and brittle, and falls off. The medical term for a fungal infection of a toenail is onychomycosis; not to be confused with onychoptosis, the toenail falling off.

If a toenail fell off because of a fungal infection, it’s important to treat the toe with anti-fungal medication. A new toenail will replace the old one, and it will be a healthy toenail, but if the fungus is allowed to linger, it could eventually cause the same problem with the new nail.

Toenail Falling Off – Steps Can Be Taken

If you take a few simple precautions, you may never have to say “my toenail is falling off”. Accidents will happen of course, but if you protect your feet, you stand a good chance of keeping the toenails you presently have. The right combination of shoes and socks can prevent a fungal infection, as well as preventing an injury to a toenail from jogging or running.

Thick socks can help wick moisture away from the toes, which helps keep a fungal infection from taking hold. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing shoes that cramp the toes, especially shoes that put downward pressure on the nails. If you work with heavy equipment, or do manual labor, wearing steel-toed shoes or boots would be a good idea. If you can find the right shoes, it may even be safe to take up marathon running, but there’s no guarantee.

Click here to know more about how to get rid of toenail fungus