Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What happens if your toe nail falls off?"
I dropped a brick on my foot and now my toe nail is black. Coworker said it is going to fall off now. Is this bad? What will happen to my toe if the nail falls off? Should I keep it bandaged or let it go and let the nail fall off?
This is actually a very common injury and, although painful and unsightly, it does usually heal up just fine over time. If you nail has turned black, then I am afraid your coworker is likely right that your toenail may fall off. Alternatively, it may just grow out slowly with the black part gradually disappearing. Whether or not it falls off depends entirely on how severe the damage to the toenail was. Fortunately, even if the toe nail falls off completely, this is not usually a major problem. Generally speaking, the toe nail will regrow itself slowly, although this may take weeks to months to reform entirely. Also, sometimes, the toe nail may not grow back perfectly smooth like it was before you injured it. There is no particular care that you need to give to the injured nail. Do not try to peel it off prematurely - let it fall off on its own. If the skin under the nail when it falls off is tender or sensitive, you can apply a small bandage to protect the area, but this is not necessary if it is not uncomfortable. I recommend talking to your primary care doctor for more information.
Need more info?See a primary care-doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.