PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

When should you get medical help for broken toenails?

ANSWER

If you aren't comfortable tending to the nail yourself or think the damage is serious, call your doctor or a podiatrist. Go to an urgent care center or emergency room when:

  • The tear is too far down for you to trim.
  • The base or sides of the nail are pulling away or already detached from the nail bed or nail folds.
  • The toenail has ripped off. (The nail bed may look pearly, as though the nail is still there, even though it's completely off.)
  • You have a deep cut that might need stitches.
  • You have a lot of pain or swelling. Your toe might throb or feel tight.
  • The toe is crooked or mangled.
  • You see blood pooling under 1/4 or more of the remaining nail.

SOURCES:

Podiatry Today: "How To Address Nail Bed Injuries."

National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics: "10.04 Finger or toenail avulsion," "10.07 Subungual Hematoma."

Montreal Children's Hospital: "Finger and Toe Injuries."

Seattle Children's Hospital: "Toe Injury."

Baylor Scott and White Health, McLane Children's: "Nail Bed Injury."

Fairview Health Services: "Patient information: Detached Fingernail or Toenail."

Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University: "Why is my toenail falling off?"

NHS Choices: "Nail abnormalities."

American Family Physician: "Nail Abnormalities: Clues to Systemic Disease."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on September 7, 2019

SOURCES:

Podiatry Today: "How To Address Nail Bed Injuries."

National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics: "10.04 Finger or toenail avulsion," "10.07 Subungual Hematoma."

Montreal Children's Hospital: "Finger and Toe Injuries."

Seattle Children's Hospital: "Toe Injury."

Baylor Scott and White Health, McLane Children's: "Nail Bed Injury."

Fairview Health Services: "Patient information: Detached Fingernail or Toenail."

Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University: "Why is my toenail falling off?"

NHS Choices: "Nail abnormalities."

American Family Physician: "Nail Abnormalities: Clues to Systemic Disease."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on September 7, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the treatments for heat cramps in children

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.