How to Protect a Toe With No Nail

Toes are very sensitive body parts susceptible to being stubbed and smashed. Losing a toenail can be very painful, and protecting that sensitive toe is important in easing pain and preventing infection. Learning how to protect a nail-less toe can help make healing go a little smoother and faster.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Wash the toe with some mild soap and warm water, then apply some antiseptic to help disinfect any germs and prevent future infection. Apply a cream antiseptic to the area and don’t rub it in all the way.

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Apply a small, clean piece of gauze atop your toe, then wrap the toe with some cloth medical tape. Wrap tape around the nail-less toe and around the toe next to it. Anchoring the afflicted toe to another toe can keep it from wiggling around too much and possibly stubbing or hitting it on something.

Wear shoes that allow for plenty of room for your toe 1. Don’t wear shoes that are too tight and will squeeze down on the toe. If you wear open-toed shoes, you’ll have the freedom of not worrying about this, but you need to take extra caution when moving around to ensure you don’t hit the toe.

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Remove the gauze and elevate your foot for at least an hour every day while it heals. While the gauze and antiseptic cream can prevent infections, your toe also needs to breathe and get air, so give it some time each day to do that. Wash the toe once a day, and repeat applying the gauze and antiseptic.


If you have severe bleeding or pain accompanying your nail-less toe, seek medical attention as you might have a broken toe or more serious issue. Also if you notice redness, warming of the toe or any sign of infection, see your doctor.