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Should we worry about dead nails?

| Updated: September 30, 2022 14:26:06


Should we worry about dead nails?

Are you scared of a dead nail? Have you got a dead toenail hanging off and you are too afraid to pull it out? Rest assured, this is not anything unusual; a lot of people go through the same situation.

Problems like dead nails are usually not serious. It is actually a common occurrence for someone who trips a lot. Dead nails are also part and parcel of a sportsperson’s life. But why does this happen?

There are many causes of dead nails. It may be due to wearing smaller shoes, thus constantly putting excess pressure on the toes. Trauma from any source is another common cause, especially among sportspeople.

Sometimes a fungal infection grows in the nail bed, causing the nails to die and eventually fall off.

The risk is high in people with diabetes or other diseases that weaken the immune system. Skin diseases, e.g., psoriasis, chemotherapy, exposure to chemicals due to smoking, or excessive nail varnish, can lead to dead and detached nails.

As mentioned, it is not usually a big deal. Once a dead nail falls off, it will regrow. The time required is usually 6 months for fingernails and almost 1.5 years for toenails.

For whatever reason, if a nail separates from the nail bed, it will not reattach. A new nail will have to grow back in its place. Nails grow back slowly.

Generally, extensive treatment is not needed. Just removing the dead nail if it does not fall off is fine. If some part of it falls off, the remaining part must also be pulled out.

Additionally, some home remedies can be applied to prevent infection of the open nail bed. First and foremost, we must keep the exposed area clean and dry. It can be covered with petroleum jelly and an adhesive bandage until a new nail grows. The bandage should be changed every time it becomes wet.

We should also take proper care of our nails to avoid the risk of getting infections or diseases that may cause dead nails. This necessitates trimming nails regularly straight across the top to prevent them from growing long (long nails may look cool but are not healthy), keeping hands and feet clean and dry, and avoiding walking barefoot in wet areas and sharing nail clippers with others.

Nobody should bite their nails either. Wearing comfortable shoes is also good practice. Sometimes we try to clean the dirt under our fingernails with sharp objects, which is also not advisable.

However, there are certain situations when it is better to consult a doctor, especially if the skin around the nails becomes red, swollen, and warm. Or when the cause of the nail falling off is not clear.

Dead nails may look scary, but they are normal. Everyone in their lifetime may experience at least one incidence of dead nails. We shouldn’t worry too much about it. Just take care of the exposed part and wait for the nail to grow back.

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