Several factors that may affect toenail regrowth can include congenital abnormalities, infection, disease, injury to the toe, and nutritional deficiencies. Age can also play a large role in some individuals, although this is often the case when other issues are also at play. Many times these conditions are treatable, and toenails can be restored. Other times, issues are more permanent, as in the case of an inherited condition.
One common issue that might affect toenail regrowth is an injury to the toenail. This could be blunt force to the toe, or less common injuries related to frostbite and other tissue damage. In minor cases, part of the toenail can be removed, and it may have trouble growing back in part, or altogether. More severe problems can lead to the toenail falling off or having to be removed altogether. In these cases, the tissue on, beneath, or around the nail may be too damaged to support any future regrowth.
Certain health problems can also affect toenail regrowth. Viruses and infections anywhere within the body may affect the rejuvenation of cells, and toenails can grow more slowly. In many cases, once the ailment is alleviated, the toenails will resume growing normally.
Infections of the nails themselves can also negatively impact toenail regrowth. Infected toenails will often appear yellow or discolored, brittle, and thick. In severe cases, they might also have a foul odor. Most of the time toenails will return to normal, but diagnosing and treating the infection can be tricky. A doctor should be consulted to determine the type of infection and the proper medication needed to treat it.
Additional issues that can affect toenail regrowth include nutritional deficiencies and the age of a person. Some research has shown that those who are lacking in certain nutrients can have slower growing hair and nails. The finger and toenails might also have discoloration, white or pink spots, or ridges on the surface. It can be hard to determine exactly which vitamin one is deficient in, so tests may be needed. Proper eating habits and a multivitamin supplement can be helpful in treating mild deficiencies, but stronger supplementation might be needed for more severe cases.
Age can also negatively toenail regrowth in some cases. This is less common in those without health problems and nutritional deficiencies, but growth may slow down to some extent in anyone once he or she reaches a certain age. This is usually not reversible, but if it becomes a concern, patients can speak with their doctors for guidance.