Wondering Why?

Why do toenails fall off?

Some people experience a condition called “onychoptosis” which literally means “the toenails are falling off.”  This condition usually happens gradually with the inflammatory changes that happen on one’s toe/s.

Fungus or fungal infections are said to be the most common causes for toenails that fall off.  It is also said that as much as 18 per cent of the people around the world acquire a fungal infection on their toes which results in the nails falling off.  Fungus in this condition may be of different strains and varieties, but they all basically act the same.  They target and attack the thick keratin found on people’s toenails.  It’s like the fungus will start to eat out the toenail and turn it into a yellowish or brownish color at first. This particular discoloration is a typical early sign of fungal infection,  so one must seek medical advice to save his/her toenail from falling off or at least prevent the infection from spreading.  After the discoloration, the toenails will eventually become thicker, and then they will start flaking until a large portion of them will fall off.  Fungi is said to thrive on dark and wet conditions, and so those who frequently have sweaty feet and closed or tight shoes must be sure to wash their feet often to prevent this type of infection.

Toenails can also fall of due to injury.  In the case of people engaged in sports that involve heavy foot activity, toenails may get constant friction with the shoes.  With trauma to the toenails, bleeding can occur underneath the nails which affect the nails’ overall health.  With repeated trauma, nails can eventually fall off also. To prevent this from happening, one may need to find the perfect shoe that’s roomy enough in the toes area.  Otherwise, one must regularly check his/her toes for signs of injury, infection, or inflammation.

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