Detached toenail

I frequently get questions with patients that have a toenail that looks like this. You can see that the toenail is detached and not reattaching to the top of the toe.  This can be caused by a number of things. It can be caused by nail fungus, it can be caused by injury, it can be caused by digging into the edge of the nail, and it’s one of the more frustrating things that we can treat. A few types of treatments are removing the whole nail, that’s one option. You can also, if you don’t want to remove the whole nail, remove a portion of the nail and do something we call a phenolization or nail plate procedure that re-adheres the nail. That’s where you cut the nail all the way back, apply a chemical, and hopefully as the nail keeps growing out it’s going to reattach.  It’s something that’s challenging, it doesn't always work, but it sometimes is the best option that we have for patients because they don’t like it when their nails don’t reattach.  The last option would be to totally remove the toenail and put on either a fake nail or something similar.

To Your Health,
Dr. Donald Pelto