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Tips For When Your Toenail Is on The Verge Of Falling Off

A toenail falling off can be uncomfortable and cause concern about damage to the toenail. The goal is to preserve the toenail’s state to prevent further damage.

Fortunately, if you take a few proactive steps, you can reduce the discomfort and promote healing. Here are our six tips for managing a toenail on the verge of falling off.

1. Keep the toenail area clean and dry

Wash the toenail gently and often. We recommend using mild soap and water to keep it clean. Next, pat dry so as not to snag the toenail with a towel.

2. Cut the nail carefully and slowly

Use clean, sterilized nail clippers to remove any dangling or loose portions of the toenail. Cut straight across without digging into the surrounding skin. The goal here is to prevent further snagging or tearing down the road. Improperly cutting your nail may also increase your risk of an ingrown toenail.

In addition to trimming the toenail straight across, you should trim the toenail slowly. Don’t over-cut it. Be patient with toenail growth. (It may take months to a year for a nail to fully grow out.) If in doubt, let our toenail specialists in Toronto trim your toenails for you as part of a medical pedicure.

3. Use a non-stick bandage to protect the area

We recommend applying a bandage or non-sticky wrap to your toe. (Adhesive can attach itself to the toenail and be difficult to peel off without grabbing onto it.) A protective layer keeps an otherwise exposed nail bed safe. Replace the bandage regularly and keep the area dry to promote healing.

4. Antiseptic ointment is your friend

Use an antiseptic ointment or petroleum jelly on the exposed nail bed to keep it moisturized and prevent infection. This may help soothe any discomfort from the loose toenail.

5. Choose comfortable and roomier footwear

You’ll want to reduce pressure as much as possible to prevent a loose toenail from falling off. Given that we wear footwear so often, finding shoes with ample fit can help prevent further damage to the toenails.

6. Avoid intense activity

Reduce your activity level if it puts excessive pressure or strain on the affected toenail. For instance, running or high-impact sports like soccer could increase the risk of the toenail snagged or torn off. Give your toe some rest, and return to physical activity gradually.

Do you have questions about your toes and feet? Look no further.

If you need more clarification about your damaged toenail and how to treat it, you can schedule a nail care appointment with one of our Toronto foot and nail specialists (chiropodists) using the booking form below or call us at (416) 769-3338.

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Carolina Charles

Patient Relation Coordinator (She/Her)

If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures.​ She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.