Toenail loose - could it get infected?

Ran my first marathon over the weekend and have now got a typical "runners foot". I had a black toenail when I started running a few years ago but since then have no toenail issues.

Towards the end of the race I did feel like I might have lost one and was nervous taking the sock off but it's still there. It felt more loose on Sunday than it did today.  It isn't sore unless I touch it so I'm trying to wiggle it. The whole toenail and area around it seems slightly raised, which I think means it will come out. What I'm slightly concerned about is there is a red area around the nail bed, almost like a cut, particularly at the base. I'm putting antiseptic on it, and keeping a plaster on it, but is there any chance it could become infected? Should I go to the GP about it? Or will it sort itself out?


  • Leave it and it will drop off when there is enough new growth underneath...

    I had a black toe nail (climbing boot issue not running), Was racing on Sunday and thought I had a stone in my shoe, Stopped to shake it out and... yep it was the black toenail that had dropped off and was digging in my foot 

  • kaffeegkaffeeg ✭✭✭

    I once had pretty feet.  Those were the days.

     Keep it dry and give it air.  I wouldn't put liquid on it and then wrap it in a plaster. 

    It will drop off when it's ready. If it's not sore, then thats good. 

    I had one that was slightly raised and it took about a month of longer to fall off. Just left it to do what it needed.  All good. It grew back.  And now is coming off again some months later (i'm sure it will fall off during VLM on sunday!)

  • I have 3 black ones at the mo from training so I am fully expecting to lose them on Sunday which may make for slightly uncomfortable running image
  • Thanks everyone. Seems to be the same today - no better or worse. I left it out last night which did feel nice - unfortunately I've got to wear proper shoes at work so will probably do socks today but skip the plasters!
  • the sore area is probably where the "tail" of the nail is still embedded under the skin at the corners, and where the old nail has now separated from the skin in the middle - almost like a cut as you say.

    if you're feeling brave, you could start to slowly peel the old nail off from what's growing underneath - just take it very easy and it will slowly start coming off. If parts remain firmly attached, just cut the loose areas off and wait a bit longer before having another go. I've just done that with a big toenail - much more comfy now!

    be prepared to be greeted with a very ugly partly grown new nail - the exposed nailbed will be sensitive to pressure for a couple of days but soon settles.

    can you tell I've lost a few nails over the years?? lose one, grow one, lose that again, grow another one and so on.
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