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What Factors Affect Toenail Regrowth?

Infections of the nail can negatively impact toenail regrowth.
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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2014
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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.

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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.

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burcidi
Post 3

I actually don't want my toenail to grow back because I had it removed. I was suffering from chronic ingrown nails and this seemed to be the best solution.

So they removed the toenails on my big toes. And then they treated the roots of the nails so that they wouldn't grow back. But they obviously didn't do that right because a part of the nail did grow back. Now I have to decide whether I want those parts removed or not.

I guess when the root of the nail is not totally dead, there is always a chance of regrowth.

turquoise
Post 2

I was on a strict diet for a while and I wasn't eating milk products at all. I guess due to lack of calcium, my nails and toenails were barely growing! Thank goodness I'm off that diet now and everything is back to normal.

SteamLouis
Post 1

I think that age is a huge factor for nail growth and regrowth. I'm over sixty now and I've noticed that my nails have been growing more slowly. I used to cut them at least once a month when I was young and now, I only cut them once every three months.

Last year, I slammed my big toe and injured it. Part of the nail was cut out because it was bent into my toe. I kept waiting for the part that was cut out to grow back but it didn't. I'm not sure if it will ever grow back now. Thankfully, it's not too noticeable.

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