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Three things you didn't know about toenail growth

toenail growth misconceptions kill a nail Central Massachusetts Podiatry Worcester Westborough

Three things you might not know about toenail growth


Very often, patients come to us concerned if their toenail will grow back after trauma or removal, specially because it might feel like the nail is not growing fast enough, compared to their fingernails. Here are three common misconceptions about toenail growth:


#1 Toenails grow slower than fingernails

The truth is that for a toenail to completely grow out it can take between 9 to 12 months. People can speed it up a little bit by taking biotin, which is a special vitamin to help nails grow faster, but even then it will not grow as fast as fingernails. Patience is needed.


#2 You can’t kill a nail after an injury

The second misconception about toenail growth is to think that an injury will kill the nail. It’s virtually impossible to stop a toenail from growing back even after we remove it completely, unless we purposely do a procedure and apply acid to kill the root of the nail.

An injured toenail may have its growth stunted or slowed for a period, but it eventually starts growing back again. Many times, instead of growing lengthwise, it'll grow thicker because of the injury at the growth plate.


#3 You don’t really need toenails to be healthy

Many patients worry that toenails are absolutely essential for good health. Despite providing protection against injury, it is OK to not have a toenail. Numerous patients have to undergo permanent or temporary toenail removal. 

For some patients with very thick and discolored toenails, having no toenails might actually be a better option. Nail polish can still be applied over the skin and it will look like there’s a toenail in there.

If you have any concerns regarding your toenails, do not hesitate to come and see us in Worcester or Westborough. Call 508-757-4003 or text 508-625-7775 for an appointment. New patient visits can also be booked right here in our website.


Dr. Donald Pelto Dr. Donald Pelto Dr. Donald Pelto is a Podiatrist at Central Massachusetts Podiatry, in Worcester and Westborough. Author of several books on foot health, he also speaks Portuguese and English. He likes to go on family hikes and loves learning and talking about health related topics and healthy life hacks. Watch some of his interviews about health and video lectures on

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