13 answers

Toddlers Toenails Falling Off

My 18 month old son has had his big toenail fall off after no sign of trauma. Now it looks like the big toenail on the other foot is lifting and about to come off. Has anyone experienced this? Could it be a iron deficiency of somekind? Don't know if I should take him in to his pediatrician.

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I think if it was a deficiency of some kind, it would involve all the nails, not just the big ones - i would bet money on the fact that his shoes got a little tight, or he wore boots that pressed on his nails

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The exact same thing happened with my daughter, and sure enough a blood test revealed she had extremely low iron levels. There is something going on, so you should take your son to his doctor ASAP.

Our pediatrician gave my daughter a prescription for an iron supplement. I also started trying to feed her more iron rich foods. Multi-grain cheerios have 100 percent daily value of iron, so she eats that for breakfast every morning. Other foods high in iron are meat, spinach, raisins, whole grains. Also, be sure to give high fiber foods too to avoid constipation. Good luck!!

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As others have already said, it could be a fungus. No matter what the cause is, you should take him to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Best wishes,

Whenever you have a medical question, a good reference is Mayoclinic.com. There will be various conditions/diseases listed ("toenail fungus") and then many subtitles such as "causes, prevention, treatment, even home remedies, etc." You have the resources of world class hospital/clinic as your resource. I would keep him out of a doctor's office this time of year. Hope this helps

Hey, A.,
I know I am late to respond (been out of town)but I wanted to say something. This is a fungus that should be treated internally. My big toenails have been fallin off my whole life!!! Doctor after doctor after Dermatologist after manicurist has said the same thing. I choose not to medicate. I havent had a "fall off" in a couple of years. "They" say that it doesnt do any physical harm...its just weird!!!! For me, its about every 3 or 4 years...not enough to take a pill for me. Its just one of those things. I dont like anti-biotics because I think your body gets used to 'em. I must be onto something...very rarely am I ill. Good immune system I guess.
Good luck!
Margaret :)

I would sure ask the doc about it. That seems weird and could be a sign for something just not sure what.

Take him to the Dr. This is not normal.

Hi A.,

It is super freaky to see this happen... I know my son was about the same age when it happened to him. His were lifting from the back by the nail bed and the new nail was already growing underneath... weird. I took him to the pedi thinking maybe it was some kind of fungal thing but the pedi said, they don't know why, maybe there was some kind of trauma to the nail but this happens to some kids and there is no why or how... keep the toes protected...band aids so that when it starts coming off alot it doesn't accidentally get hooked on anything and get pulled off and cause them a owie which can bleed.

1.5 years later my son's nails are growing great and it has not happened again.
I hope this helps.

Right now you really don't need to expose your son to all the nasty viruses at the pedi's office.

It could be a fungus. Or something else weird. I would take him to the doc.

a friends son had this happen-but it was his toesand fingers. It was a calcium deficiency. Now tyhe make sure he gets enough calcium and he is fine.

Don't freak out. This exact thing happened to my daughter (now 6) at that age. Both her big toe nails came off. I took her to the pedi and she said this isn't really that uncommon at this age. It never happened again and ever since then her toe nails are completely fine and she is perfectly healthy. It is likely nothing, but should check with your pedi for your own piece of mind.

I think if it was a deficiency of some kind, it would involve all the nails, not just the big ones - i would bet money on the fact that his shoes got a little tight, or he wore boots that pressed on his nails

Skin problems (also hair and nail) can result from body problems resulting from insulin/blood sugar imbalances. Just another thing to check into.

Hi Anette,
I would definitely look in to an iron deficiency but also check out his shoes. My lil boy had this problem with several toenails. I took him to our local shoe store and had them size his feet and he'd outgrown his shoes by a size and had wide feet. The man who owns the shoe store and has been doing this for years said he's seen that before. So we got him new shoes and I take him back often and we've never had it happen again. But I would look in to the lack of iron also as that can be more serious...
Take care & God bless

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