If you’ve ever stubbed your toe or lost a toenail from injuries, you know that toenail traumas are not for the faint hearted. Whether you’ve lost a toenail or had to have one removed, you are probably wondering if it will look the same when it grows back.
If you’re wondering if you’ll ever be able to wear sandals again, don’t worry. In most cases, toenails will grow back and have a completely normal appearance.
However, there are some things that might affect your nails ability to grow back normally, including fungal infections, ingrown toenails, and injuries to the nail matrix.
If you’ve suffered a toenail loss, you probably want to fast-forward through the recovery process. We don’t blame you. But don’t fret, we got you covered. Read on to learn about ways you can help support and expedite the process of healing through natural methods.
Stages of Nail Regrowth
Unfortunately, toenails don’t grow back as fast as fingernails do. They take about 2-3x longer but the exact time it takes to grow back will vary depending on the reason it was lost in the first place .
Fingers and toenails begin their growth underneath the skin at an area known as the nail matrix, This matrix creates new skin cells and pushes the old out, which then become hardened. The result is your nail.
Underneath where your nail grows is the nailbed, which is also where your nails attach to your fingers or toes. Both injuries to the nail matrix and nail bed can affect the regrowth of your nail .
How Long Do Toenails Grow in a Week?
The rate at which your toenails will grow back will vary depending on many factors, including how it was lost in the first place. However, the average toenail is estimated to grow about 1.62mm per month.
This means your toenails may grow about 0.41mm per week on average, which is similar to the size of a piece of lead from a standard mechanical pencil (0.5mm). Keep in mind that this is just an estimation and the actual time it might take will vary .
Will a Toenail Grow Back Normally After Removal?
If you’ve had to have your toenail removed, in most cases it will regrow normally. However, this depends a lot on why it was removed and if it healed correctly.
For example, If you’ve lost a toenail due to a nail fungus which has not been treated, your nail may not grow back normally. If you are suffering from a nail fungus, be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider or Podiatrist to get the correct treatment.
Additionally, if you’ve had a nail removed due to an injury that affected the nail matrix, only some of your nail may grow back. If the damage was extensive, it’s possible that your nail won’t grow back at all.
If your toenail simply suffered a minor injury and the nail matrix remains intact and healthy, you won’t likely experience any issues with growing the nail back normally.
Trimming your toenails is a normal and healthy hygienic practice. If you have an injury to the nail, it’s important to trim it to prevent it from worsening.
For example, if you have a jagged or sharp nail or the nail is split. This can help to prevent any skin injuries. If the nail is trimmed because of sharp edges or torn nails, it should not affect the appearance of the nail as it grows unless the nail matrix was damaged.
Regular nail trimming does not promote nail growth but rather can help to keep the nails healthy and avoid injuries such as ingrown nails and nail trauma.
After a Crack in the Toenail
If you experience a crack in your toenail, it will likely grow back normally depending on the crack. If you crack your nail horizontally, you may eventually be able to trim the cracked area off and your nail will appear as normal.
If you experience a crack in your toenail that is vertical, you may have to wait for the nail to grow out and detach from the nail bed before you can see new and normal nail regrowth.
Cracked nails can happen for a variety of reasons including excessive moisture exposure, infection, and injury. If you frequently suffer from cracked nails, reach out to your healthcare provider or Podiatrist for tips on how to prevent these.
Will My Big Toenail Grow Back?
As mentioned above, whether or not your big toenail will grow back depends on what caused you to lose it in the first place.
If you’ve had a mild injury to the nail as a result of a stubbed toe or torn nail, it will more than likely regrow as normal given the nail is healthy and there was no injury to the nail matrix.
Any substantial injury or trauma to the nail could result in altered regrowth and as well as the potential for the nail to only grow a small amount or not regrow at all.
If you are uncertain if your toenail will regrow normally, speak with your healthcare provider or Podiatrist for more detailed information based on your specific injury.
Factors That Can Impact Nail Growth
Nail growth can be impacted by several factors including age (nails grow faster when we are younger), climate (nail growth is slowed in cold weather), lifestyle habits (nail biting can slow nail growth and contribute to potential injuries), and overall health (presence of certain conditions can slow nail growth, including lupus, psoriasis, and kidney and liver disease) .
Other factors can also include the nail itself. For example, nails on your dominant hand tend to grow faster than nails on your non-dominant hand. Additionally, your pinky nail tends to grow slower than the rest of your nails [1, 3].
Can the Weather Impact Nail Growth
Weather can actually impact the rate at which your nails grow. For example, nails tend to grow faster in warmer climates and slower in colder ones. This is believed to be caused by the reduction in blood flow to the extremities when exposed to frequent cold bouts.
Additionally, colder climates may contribute to less sun exposure and a reduction in vitamin D which can slow down nail growth .
How to Support Healthy Nail Growth
If you are looking for ways to improve the health of your nails, especially during regrowth, consider your nutrition and lifestyle habits.
Certain nutrients are essential for nail health. To ensure you are supporting your nails from the inside out, you should aim to consume a balanced diet that is rich in protein and essential vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Other nutrients that are believed to help support nail health include biotin- a B vitamin essential for the production of proteins needed for nail growth, collagen- an essential protein for the structure of our nails, and keratin- the fibrous protein that makes up our nails.
Collagen and keratin levels decrease as we age, therefore taking a supplement for these, such as our beauty protein powder, can potentially boost nail health in one easy step.
With hydrolyzed grass-fed collagen peptides, zinc, biotin, and vitamin C to boost natural keratin and collagen production, Ella Daily Beauty protein is perfect for giving your nails that extra boost of nourishment where you may be lacking in diet alone.
Certain lifestyle habits can also support nail growth, including avoiding artificial nails, glue-on nails, and toxic nail polishes which may increase the risk of nail damage. Avoid nail biting and regularly clean and trim your nails to keep them from cracking, splitting, or getting infections .
If you’ve lost a toenail or had to have one removed, the likelihood of your nail growing back normally will depend on the damage and health of your nail, particularly if your nail matrix was damaged.
Your toenail will likely grow back normally if you have had a minor injury that did not result in the damage of the nail matrix, such as stubbed toe or torn or cracked nail. If you have received a significant injury to the nail or have not fully healed from illness such as nail fungus, your nail might not regrow back to its normal appearance and function.
To aid in healthy growth of your nails, consider your lifestyle habits, such as nail biting and presence of artificial nails and polishes, as well as nutritional status. Boost your nutrition for nail health easily by consuming a supplement such as our Ella Daily Beauty protein powder.