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toenail falling off (yes, gross)

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has anyone else experienced this?  Happened last fall to right foot, big toe, and I started dabbing vinegar on it.

Now left big toe has same thing.

I googled info and can NOT possibly be anemic with the 80 g of protein I try to eat daily, and have never eaten healthier, in general,  in my life.  I ahve quit eating yogurt and may start that again and some home remedy site recommended.

I'm going to try soaking my toes in Listerene every day.

I'm wondering about trying to jump over a creek to get on my trail last summer and got shoes wet in a scummy canal.  I washed them and intersole and dried thoroughly.  Also, until this month I've been out walking / hiking for many hours drenched in sweat.  Maybe my shoes didn't dry out thoroughly from one day to the next?

I did buy new shoes last month, so hope they're germ free now.

No pain, the nail just lifts off.  Won't be too pretty when its time to wear sandles.
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It could be some kind of fungal infection. I'd get it checked out by a doctor or a chiropedist
sounds like toe fungus to me! You can also try garlic (crush it and let it set for 15 minutes, then rub it on) or tea tree oil, but be careful because the tea tree oil is kind of strong and might hurt the healthy skin around the nail.
I actually had this problem years ago and it was a fungal infection.  Nothing to be alarmed about, but you need to fix it. 

Mine was actually from the shoes I would wear, the rubbing and constant pressure on my nail made it come off and become REALLY weak.  It didnt change much color (a little yellowish), but it did cause me a little bit of pain once in a while.

I got one of the anti-fungals from the drug store and used it daily and wore better shoes.  My new sneakers rub a little so I am kind of scared of jogging in them or doing anything for a long period of time.  I always have my back up older pair, but I do fear that from having to go through it before.

Good luck!  Hope that helped a little!
thanks everyone.  I guess, "you don't miss something till it's gone" is true.  I took my toenails for granted.  I could never get a pedicure now, the way it looks.

From what I read, the fungal meds, from the doctor, can be hard on your liver, so I want to put off going to him.

One site, online, said you could paint the skin.......well, I don't want to paint a nub, I want a real toenail!!!
Well, I have, but that's because I kicked something too hard. ^^;;

It heals in time- just figure out if it's a fungus and you'll be okay. I recommend a band-aid over it otherwise shoes can be a little painful.
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It happens a lot with distance runners.  We have big groups of runners training for marathons and a topic of conversation is always "how many toenails have you lost?" 

The toenails always grow back. It's not a fungus.

I don't know if the same sort of thing applies to hiking, etc., but one never knows.
Could be from your shoes. Do they fit well?  I had the same problem and it was due to my shoes being too tight. I run anywhere from 25 to 30 miles per week (each individual run is probably around 6 to 8 miles, although I try and do one "long" run of at least 10 miles once a week).

Turns out that my big toe was banging up against the edge of my shoe - and that damaged the nail. It ended up falling off - and was really gross!! It happened in July and the nail is still growing back....YUCK!!

I wouldn't bother soaking your toes in Listerine....that's for your mouth and I'm not sure that it would do you any good. If it is a fungus, you will need specific medication or cream to treat it - you can't just use any antiseptic for any bacteria - some are formulated for specific things (and I suspect that the anti-fungal treatment for a foot would be very different from the bad-breathing killing agent in a mouthwash).

Don't worry about it too much - gross toenails are a part of hiking and running (especially if you do a lot of hills - the downhill motion puts additional pressure on your toes and can cause the bruising which leads to the nail falling off).
ff:  Listerene was a hint, in 'home remedies' I read online.

I just got new Sacouny shoes. And, as a female, I have lg feet, size 10, and have always worn mens, shoes, since they are wider.  These are mens. 9.5.

My old ones were comfortable................comfortable being no pain in the bunion area, which I have trouble with.  SO, as long as that area didn't hurt, I didn't pay attention to the toenails.  I did read to keep the nails trimmed straight across, so will do that from now on.

It would be nice if that was all it was and now my new shoes solve the problem. 

I swear.............for trying to stay's hard on the body.  I've never had muscles in such good shape, but never had so many little annoying things happen along the way!!!

ALSO; one good thing, from reading online the fungus ones usually are described as yellow and thick and ugh.  Mine aren't, they just come 'loose'...............  fingers crossed it was the shoes
My second toenails both fell off once... it was weird! I couldn't identify any cause, but the nail kind of split and as it grew it pushed itself off the toe. One did it, and then a few weeks later the other one did. I just left them entirely alone and the new nails grew back in fine, just a bit smaller.
It happened to me once. I'm guessing it was from the pressure I put on my big toe. But yeah it was really weak and soggy sort of. It just lifted off. No pain or anything. A few weeks later it grew back and my toenail is a lot stronger now.
I was feeling like I had freak toes............very glad to know I'm not the only one.  Thanks.

also because of foot pain, I always go barefoot at home, so I would think the toes have plenty of time to air out and just be themselves (no pressure)
Ditto to what fitnessfreak and abaker said. It's a running thing. You can have the best fitting shoes in the world and still have issues like that as a runner.

It's kind of a badge of honor, albeit an unpleasant one. :)
What you have is Onycholysis. As an Esthetician I have seen it many times. It could have easily been caused from fungus living in the canal, but it is most likely from a trauma i.e Your toenail hitting the inside of your shoe repetitively. s/onycholysis.html

I had a similar situation but caught it before the whole nail was coming off by soaking my feet in clorox water before going to foot doctor.

The Doc said it was a fungus, to continue the soaking and gave a prescription to put on the nail.

Hope this helps. 

Original Post by abaker1961:

It happens a lot with distance runners.  We have big groups of runners training for marathons and a topic of conversation is always "how many toenails have you lost?" 

The toenails always grow back. It's not a fungus.

I don't know if the same sort of thing applies to hiking, etc., but one never knows.


I ran distance last year in track, and geuss what...? my second toenail on both feet fell off and I went on and I found out it was completely normal because of the impact of your foot and your shoes over and over. My only suggestion is to make sure your shoes are not too big and just let them grow back, it doesn't take long except after mine grew back I started soccer an it happened again!

I think this is toenail fungus. I experienced this before and my infected nails turned yellow and crumbly, and they eventually fell off. However, the worse part is that they also get itchy and I found out they are infectious. I treated my condition with herbal remedies like tea tree oil, thyme, oregano oil and cider vinegar. I also used a product that my friend recommended to me called Zerofungus. If you still aren't sure about your condition, it is best to seek professional help to receive the right treatment.

The fungus doesn't cause nails to fall off, the nail goes white and crumbly but it does not fall off. I happen to have suffered from it for years until only recently got rid of it with tablets

I agree with other commentators who blame the pressure on your toes from the shoe. Once happened to me too before the fungus infection days. My walking boots got wet and after drying became much harder than they were. After a long walk in them, my toe nail came off with a lot of pain.

Although what you have does not sound like a fungus the damage caused to your nails does make your nails vulnerable and susceptible to fungus infection - so be very careful now with your foot hygiene. Make sure that you dry your feet really well (it is recommended to dry them with a hair drier) and I would put a drop of tea-tree oil on them once a day to keep the infection away. Fungus is extremely hard to get rid of. It took me over 8 years, lots of creams and paints tried (lots of money spent on them too), and only the tablets helped to get rid of it.


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Go to amazon and look up Footlogix antifungal tincture.  It works.  I've used it and completely cured my fungus. My large nail on the same foot fell off twice. 

I have lost my right big toenail so many times due to running that now it grows back thick and not normal. I go to the same place to get my pedicures because they are able to make it look a little pretty. I would love to go someplace where they could do pretty designs on my toes but I would not want to expose anyone to my ugly toe. Haha
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