Another cold week in the nuclear winter of 2015 in NYC. Yes, I ran today and managed to eek out 10 miles, but after the blustery blizzardy bone chillingly cold NYC winter which we have endured, I’m getting a bit fed up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no sissy - at least in this department although I do harbor an irrational fear of spiders - but this winter is trying. And I brought it this winter, running in the cold rain and snow, even donning ski goggles during one particularly miserable day. At this point, I’m ready for a little sunshine daydream, and with warm weather comes - wait for it - nail trauma.
So in anticipation, and with the optimistic hopes of warmer weather, I thought we might discuss what to do in the case of a loose nail. Yes, it’s an exciting topic, and a productive use of my Ivy League education, however, you may not be scoffing so hard when it happens to you or your softball buddy. As we have discussed, the nails are a unit of the skin. Underneath the toenail is a very delicate bed of soft tissue that happens to have a great blood supply. The combination of tissue being highly vascular and fragile creates an area of great susceptibility to trauma. Even a small amount of trauma, such as a tight shoe, a misstep, or a long run can lead to a relatively large amount of blood accumulating under the nail, resulting in what’s known as a hematoma. A more traumatic event, such as a large object striking the nail, can cut the nail bed without penetrating the nail, in what’s known as a nail bed laceration. If seen early by a NYC podiatrist (keyword alert!) the nail may need to be removed, and the laceration repaired with sutures. Over time, as the new nail grows in, if it hasn’t been removed or fallen off as part of the original incident, it may be pushed off the nail bed by the new nail and then fall off. While this is highly gross and tends to freak people out, it’s nothing to be worried about. A new nail grows in within six months and should grow fine, although in some cases if the trauma is severe enough the nail may be permanently disfigured.
So if it finally gets warm and you run just a bit too much for your delicate flower of a nail and it falls off, don’t fret. Come visit our Manhattan office for some TLC. And while you’re at it, come in for a Keryflex treatment which will fill in the missing nail beautifully and naturally (shameless plug alert!), rendering your feet fully beach ready.
See you in the office.