How to Deal with a Loose Toenail

Learn how to deal with a loose toenail with this Howcast video about foot care.

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Up next in How to Take Care of Your Feet (48 videos)

Your feet take a lot of abuse. But with a little tender loving care, you can prevent a lot of the foot problems that cause aches and pains, not to mention disfigurement. Podiatrist John Fritz tells you how to take care of your feet in these videos, which cover everything from heel pain and gout to toenail fungus and bunions.

 
 

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If you injure your toenail and have active bleeding, seek medical attention immediately. The toenail is at the tip of your toe to protect the underlying structures. If your nail becomes loose, secondary to an injury, this can be a serious condition. You may have a nail bed laceration, or you may have a underlying fracture. Blood beneath the toenail is one of the most common causes of a toenail becoming loose. It's extremely common in runners. It's very common in tennis players and anyone who's involved in high physical activity. If you have a loose toenail, I like to keep the toenail in place as long as possible. Sometimes this will require bandaging the toe. I usually recommend to cut the nail back so that it doesn't lift when it hits the shoe. If you have problems and persistent pain because of the loose toenail, seek medical attention with your podiatrist. They can easily cut the nail back so that it regrows properly. If you loose your toenail, the nail will regrow back eventually. A toenail grows at a rate of one millimeter per month. So the average great toe will take often up to a year to regrow.

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  • Dr. John P. Fritz

    Board certified by American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Fellow of American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Recipient of Nurses' Choice Award by NJ Monthly. On staff at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton, Hamilton, NJ; Short Hills Surgery Center, Millburn, NJ; and The Surgery Center at Capital Health, Hamilton, NJ.