Q:

What happens when you lose a toenail?

A:

Quick Answer

Once a toenail is lost, a new nail will grow back after a period of time. Depending on several factors, it will take 6 to 18 months for the new toenail to grow. During this time, it is important to protect the toenail to prevent further injuries that may trigger an infection.

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Full Answer

There are several reasons a toenail may be lost including injuries, skin conditions, fungal infections, certain medications, severe illness and chemicals, as stated by WebMD. If one is not sure of the cause of losing a toenail, a consultation with a family doctor can help to clear any doubts.

If the condition is not severe, home treatment can help to protect the toe, prevent an infection, relieve pain and ensure healing. The nail must be removed and the area must be kept dry to ensure quick healing. The toe should be protected with an adhesive bandage until a nail that is long enough to protect the area grows. Applying an antibiotic ointment is also necessary.

If the loss of the toenail was caused by an infection, visit a doctor for treatment. Treatment for the underlying reason behind toenail loss should be sought, whether it is diabetes,a poor immune system or peripheral arterial disease.

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