When one of your toes is injured, you'll often see the nail turn purple, then dark purple, and then even a shade close to black. The changing colors can often indicate that your toenail will eventually fall off. While you should plan to see a podiatrist at a location like Affiliated Ankle & Foot Care Center to ensure that nothing is wrong with the toe beyond the injury to the nail, he or she may simply advise you that the nail will soon fall off and another one will grow in its place. Over time, the nail will loosen, but you want to let it fall off when it's ready — rather than rip it off or mistakenly knock it off prematurely. Here are some tips for managing your injured toenail.
Don't Go Barefoot
It's easy to stub your toe on a variety of objects when you go barefoot, and this is the last thing you want to go through when you have an injured toe with a nail that will soon fall off. If you were to catch your toenail awkwardly on the corner between two walls or a piece of furniture, you could tear the nail back and have it come off before it's ready. This will usually cause you considerable pain. Wearing socks around the house will provide one layer of protection, but you should also think about wearing rigid slippers or shoes to keep the risk of additional trauma to the nail as low as possible.
Put Your Socks On Carefully
Whether you're putting on your socks to protect the nail or just getting ready for work, you need to do so with caution. People often have the habit of sliding their socks on quickly, but this rapid action could cause the tip of the toenail to catch in the fabric of the sock. Your fast movement of the sock could then lift the toenail and pull it away from the toe, causing discomfort and likely a fair amount of bleeding. Always be cautious when you slide your socks on.
Be Careful After Baths
Sitting in the bathtub softens your nails, which is why some people prefer trimming their nails after a bath. When you have an injured toenail, prolonged exposure to water will make it softer and potentially more susceptible to coming off. After a bath, you should be especially careful about protecting the toe. Don't let your curiosity get the better of you, either. While you may be able to wiggle and lift the toenail partially, it's best to avoid trying to pull it off prematurely.