Nail Care

What Causes Nail Separation?

Nail separation can occur due to a number of factors – the most common being nail infection and nail injury. Exposure of the nail to detergents or water can also lead to separation of the nail. People involved in sports can suffer from toenail separation due to the repeated trauma to the toenail from running or other activities. In most cases, the nail separation occurs from the tip of the nail to its base.

Causes of Nail Separation
Nail Injury
Nail injury can be caused due to many reasons such as dropping an object onto the nail, or accidentally trapping your nail in the door. Running with improper footwear can also result in nail injury. In such cases, blood accumulates under the nail plate and the nail may become black. Eventually the nail may separate from the nail bed. A new nail will grow in 4 to 6 months.

Nail Infection
Fungal, yeast or bacterial nail infection can cause nail separation. The fungus/yeast invades the nail through tiny cuts or gaps. It feeds on the protein, resulting in debris under the toenail and discoloration. As the infection progresses, the nail separates and falls off.

Exposure to harsh chemicals/detergents/water
Exposing your nail to harsh chemicals or powerful detergents can cause nail separation as well as exposing your nails to water for long periods of time.

Skin Diseases
Skin diseases such as dermatitis, psoriasis, or pemphigus vulgaris can also cause separation of the nail.

Consulting your doctor can help in determining the cause behind nail separation. In case of infection, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat it. In case of nail separation, a new nail will replace the one that fell off in 4 to 6 months.

To prevent nail separation

  • Keep your nails trimmed and short
  • Avoid ill-fitting or tight footwear
  • Avoid excessive exposure to nail removers, detergents, or other chemicals and water

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