/ Detached toenails

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Otis - on 04 Sep 2018

To cut a long story short a couple of months ago I bruised and damaged my big toenail, leaving me with a black nail bed. My new climbing shoes were the cause-I thought they were a comfortable size and fit, but apparently not!

Fast forward to last week's trip to the crag and it's started to detach itself-perhaps across about a third of the nail bed, so it's rather wobbly. 

Recognising that it's going to fall off eventually, but this could take a while, has anyone had any experience or any tips?  Am slightly concerned that giving up climbing for a while is the potentially sensible option here if I want to allow nature to take its course and give the new nail the best chance of re-growing. 

Whatever happens, new shoes are probably required, so I could just buy some big baggy ones to tide me over for a while and strap the nail down to protect it? 

Advice very much appreciated if anyone else has been in this position. 

richlan - on 04 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

I lost three after an ultra a few years back and have one about to go after the most recent one, not big toe though, I just usually let the new one form underneath and when it feels like it’s about time pull the old one off seems to have been fine thus far.

Scott Anderson - on 04 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

Same here, I’ve lost a few through walking/running/climbing. In some cases the nail holds on while the other grows underneath, and in a couple of cases the nail has come off. Either way it’s never been that bad, and if I’m doing anything really muddy il usually just pop a bit of tape over it 

Matt Schwarz on 04 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

I bust my big toe nail in January skiing. I left it untill it was really flappy and getting snagged before I cut most of the detached part off as the new nail was doing well underneath, but that was in May! It's a very slow process unfortunately. 

Keep it tapped down if needed and let the regrowth happen.

AndyC - on 04 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

Having lost my big toenails on a number of occasions as a result of long descents carrying ridiculous weights, they have pretty much given up regenerating and look horrible. I would recommend taking good care of what you've got left and doing everything you can to prevent it happening again. Definitely don't try to pull off the loose nail, just let nature take its course.

Welsh Kate - on 04 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

I killed both little toenails doing the South Glenshiel Ridge back in May. The new nails grew underneath and when they'd grown enough they kind of forced off the old dead nails. I let nature take its course as much as possible in these situations.

Stefan Jacobsen - on 04 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

I have lost toenails a few times too. When they fell off, there had already been produced some temporary tissue underneath making it painless to wear climbing shoes. At the moment one of my big toenails has loosened half way along the axis of the toe only. I have cut away the dead part which is looking ridiculous.

Ciro - on 04 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

If your shoes feel comfortable I wouldn't replace them, just make sure to trim your nails regularly before climbing - any performance shoe will put damaging pressure on nails that are too long.

I've lost a few the same way, although not the big toe - if I'm on a trip and that happens, I'll take it off as soon as it gets wobbly enough to convince me it won't hurt. The new nail has always come back in fine so far

steveriley - on 04 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

I’m down both big toe nails right now, second one came off last week and is absolutely fine to climb on now. Damage them hill running about 6-8 weeks ago. Mostly been ok to climb on until the second was at its flappiest just before coming off. Seems to take about 9months to go through the full cycle.

nniff - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

Stick it back down with superglue.  Really.

summo on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to nniff:

> Stick it back down with superglue.  Really.

When they hang off a bit I normally just tape them so edges don't snag. 

Otis - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Otis:

Thanks all for your comments and advice-it's reassuring to know this seems a common (ish) ailment.

Sounds like I just need to keep an eye on it and be sensible and keep the current nail attached as best I can.  




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