Toenails Falling Off?

November 28, 2001

Dr. Frank Sinkoe, podiatrist for Atlanta Ballet, gives you the scoop on what to do:

Toenails fall off when the nail moves too much, either because it’s too long, the box of your pointe shoe is worn down or your foot is sliding in ill-fitting shoes.  The toenail usually bruises before it falls off. Tape (the crepe tape from Bunheads is best) where the nail meets the skin. If the nail gradually sheds, clip it. But don’t pull it if it doesn’t fall naturally. Once the nail comes off, use an over-the-counter ointment like Aquaphor to keep the soft tissue hydrated so the new nail will grow more normally. Take B vitamins to speed the growth process. But bruised nails falling off isn’t normal! Correct the cause to keep it from recurring.