ZocdocAnswersDo toenails always grow back?

Question

Do toenails always grow back?

The top of my big toe nail cracked off. I don't know what to do! Do toenails always grow back or do I have to bandage it. Would a doctor be able to do something about what is wrong with my toenail or is it silly to go to the doctor for something like that?

Answer

Sorry to hear that you had this accident with your toe nail! Cracking off the toenails is a pretty common problem, usually caused by stubbing the toe or a similar trauma. Fortunately, most of the time, this is not a serious medical problem. The toe nails do tend to grow back without much trouble, although it does often take quite a while, as the nails grow very slowly. Sometimes, the exposed skin under the broken nail is very red and irritated. In these cases, it can be helpful to cover the exposed area with a bandage or with some anti microbial ointment, to keep it from cracking or drying out. If there is much pain, drainage from the area, or other concerning symptoms, it would be useful to go to see your primary care doctor for advice. They can take a look at the area to make sure that the broken nail is healing appropriately and that there is no evidence of infection or other problem that might delay healing or require treatment. Good luck!

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