Ask a Podiatrist in NYC: Can I Get a Pedicure if My Toenail Falls Off?

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Jun 23, 2015 9:00:00 AM

toenail_falling_offIf you’ve found yourself without a toenail on any one of your 10 toes, you may be wondering why and what you can do to make it less noticeable until the new, healthy nail grows back. Lucky for you, others have asked a podiatrist in NYC the same question.

There are two main reasons that your toenail fell off: infection or injury. It’s not unusual for athletes – especially runners – to lose a toenail due to a foot related injury or the consistent forces and pressure being put on their toes. If you’ve had a fungal nail infection, such as onychomycosis, this could also cause the nail to raise off the nailbed and eventually fall off.

It takes a new toenail approximately 18 months to fully grow back. During the long process of waiting for your new nail to grow, you may feel embarrassed to show your toes in public and are wondering what you can and cannot do without a toenail. The most important recommendation by a podiatrist in NYC at Adler Footcare is to keep the nail bed clean and protected:

  • Make sure any sharp edges are smooth
  • Trim the detached nail to prevent it from catching and tearing
  • Leave the detached nail in place until it eventually falls off
  • Keep the nail bed clean and apply an antibiotic cream
  • Protect the nail with tape or an adhesive bandage

It’s important to take proper precautions and keep an eye on the nail as it grows, especially if you’re wanting to get a pedicure.

Getting a pedicure if you have an infection

If your toenail is falling off because you have toenail fungus, then you absolutely should not get a pedicure because the fungus is contagious and you will spread it to others. If you regularly get pedicures, this may be how you got the fungus in the first place that’s causing your nail to fall off, but there are others ways to get it, and more importantly, an easy way to get rid of it.

Getting a pedicure if you have an injury

If your toenail is falling off due to an injury, you can still get a pedicure, as long as it isn’t causing you any foot pain. Keep in mind though, that this area of your toe is usually protected by a nail, so it may be more sensitive to the touch and more vulnerable to infection. Check with your nail technician to make sure the foot baths are clean and sanitized.

If you decide to get a pedicure, wait until a month after the toenail falls off to give any microscopic tears or openings plenty of time to heal to protect yourself from infection. Once you’re ready, you can get a pedicure and the nail technician will just skip the toe with no nail. Some people prefer to have the skin polished, but it’s best not to tamper with the nail bed as the new nail beings to grow out.

Just be patient, protect yourself, and look forward to your new toenail.

If you have foot pain caused by injuries or infection contact a podiatrist in NYC at Adler Footcare for a free foot assessment. We believe feet should hurt and neither should their treatment.

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Topics: foot problems, Foot Care, Pedicures