Question

Healthy Nails

How do nails regrow if I've lost the whole nail?

A Answers (1)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    If you lose a whole nail, experts say it will likely regrow if the matrix isn't severely damaged. The matrix is the skin below the nail. Fingernails and toenails grow out of the matrix.

    Nails develop when cells in the matrix increase in number and become flattened and pushed together. Each cell becomes a thin plate, and the plates pile up to form the nail. As the cells below the nail root move up to the skin's surface, they form a hard protein called keratin, in a process called keratinization. When the hard nail cells accumulate, the nail is pushed forward.

    If you've lost a fingernail or a toenail, ask your doctor if the nail is likely to regrow and what you can do to protect the area while this is happening.
    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
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