Most people have heard about the more common side effects of chemotherapy such as hair loss, nausea, and vomiting. They may never have thought about losing their toenails, or what to expect for their toenails from chemotherapy.

Changes to toenails from chemotherapy 

Chemotherapy Induced Nail ChangesChemotherapy Induced Nail ChangesChemotherapy Induced Nail ChangesChemotherapy Induced Nail ChangesChemotherapy Induced Nail Changes

Some patients getting chemo treatment may see nail changes such as:

  • Color changes (yellow, black, brown, white, red…)
  • White lines across the width of your nail(s)
  • Grooves across the width of your nail(s)
  • Thickened nail(s)
  • Crumbly nail(s)
  • Nail(s) that are loose from the nail bed
  • Losing part or all of your toenail(s)
  • Red, swollen, or painful skin around your nail(s)

Don’t Panic ~ Things to do to minimize or prevent toenail loss and toenail changes from chemotherapy?

The first step in keeping your feet healthy is to follow a few simple rules for foot and nail care.

  • Soak your nail clippers in bleach water (one (1) part bleach to ten (10) parts water) for 10 minutes to sterilize them.
  • Wear shoes that are wide in the toe area.  More room helps to prevent  toenail loss and damage to the toes.
  • During your chemo treatment, try soaking your toenails in ice water or use an ice pack.   A 2005 study  found it helpful cooling your nails to keep them healthier.

Some of these nail changes will clear up once your toenail fully grows out (which could be up to a year) or after your treatments.

Whether you are on chemo yourself, or doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York City, the Miles of Hope Family Fun 5K Run/Walk in the Hudson Valley, or are just walking around town, we are here to help your feet. If you have painful nails, lost your toenails, or any red or swollen areas around your toenail, you can call Hollowbrook Foot Specialists at (845) 298 – 9074 or ask for an appointment online . Some toenail conditions from chemotherapy can be helped so you will have normal nails after treatment. We will do our part to help you in your fight against cancer.

By:  David Schlam


Your Top-Rated & New Favorite Podiatrist In Wappingers Falls, NY

Always arrive to a pleasant cheerful staff! They make you feel welcome and get you situated quickly! The Doctor is friendly and makes your feet feel great! I travel a bit to get to this office, but it is so worth it! The staff is always helpful and customizes my appointments to my needs!

- Bob D.

bob 5 star review

GREAT EXPERIENCE!!!! Very nice, friendly, and thorough doctor. Wonderful staff too! Very clean office. They fit me into there schedule the same day. They recognized my issue right away and got me out of discomfort painlessly.

- Jordan C.

jordan 5 star review

You will not find a better podiatrist than Dr. Schlam. I have been seeing him for over twenty years and he has been a godsend for my foot pain. If only I could give six stars...

- John M.

john 5 star review

Great experience. They got my son in as soon as possible as made sure his foot was ok. Will definitely use them again!

- Irene T.

irene 5 star review

The best health care experience. The staff and nurses are super friendly and Dr. Schlam is very good. I highly recommend Hollowbrook Foot Specialists.

- Bob D.

5 star review

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Hollowbrook Foot Specialists. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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Our Wappingers Falls
Podiatry Office
89 E. Main Street
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

Phone: 845-298-9074

Office Hours:
Monday: 9am - 7pm
Tuesday: 8:30am -7pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 8:30am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 4pm
Saturday: 9am - 1pm (By Appointment Only)

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Our Wappingers Falls
Podiatry Office
89 E. Main Street
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

Phone: 845-298-9074

Office Hours:
Monday: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 4pm

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