My precious daughter-in-law just accidentally hurt herself when her toenail ripped off (big toe). How should she care for it until it grows back?
Did she rip the entire nail out at the root? If she only tore it loose from the nail bed, she needs to keep it clean and dry at ALL times. Soak the nail in peroxide to kill any bacteria that may be present (this will not feel good), and then keep it well lubricated with antibacterial ointment. She will probably want to wrap it with gauze to protect it until the pain goes away, and even after to keep her shoes from causing further injury. In all honesty, I would suggest she not wear a shoe on that foot if she can keep from it. the pressure from walking in a shoe will be painful for several weeks at least.
Tell her to keep an eye on it to see if it begins to turn colors - color as in bright green. A green discoloration signifies a pseudomonas bacterial infection and she will need to see her doctor if this happens.
Thank you for responding so quickly, Marti. I REALLY appreciate it! <smile>
Her entire nail is completely off her foot. I did suggest that she put anti-bacterial ointment on her toe and put a bandage on it, which she did. It's good to know that was the right suggestion.
I will have her keep an eye on that toe when she changes the dressing to make sure there is no sign of infection.
If there is anything else you want to add/suggest please do so. I'll keep checking in.
Thank you, again!
Yes, after the nail completely heals, a new nail will begin to grow in from the matrix. It won't look too good, so tell her not to panic; it may look lumpy or bumpy depending on how much damage was sustained by the matrix when she ripped the nail off. As long as there is no sign of infection, she can apply Botanical Oil to help nourish the nail and the skin as it grows. She can get a bottle in the nail department of Sally Beauty Supply. Apply several times a day and massage into the skin and the emerging nail plate, or to the portion of skin that was the nail bed. It will help to keep the skin of the nail bed supple so a new nail can grow forward on it.