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What Does it Mean If Your Toenails Won't Grow?

Does it seem like your toenails have stopped growing? Usually, this isn’t the case. Fingernails grow up to three times faster than toenails, so it can seem like your toenails aren’t growing, or are growing so slowly that you can’t even tell that they are growing. It takes about six months for a fingernail to fully grow out and a toenail can take anywhere from a year to a year and a half, so it can seem as though they didn’t grow for a long time. Although not growing toenails is rare, it can happen in certain situations.

If your toenails won’t grow, check out the most common causes:

  • Injury or trauma to the tip of the nail can make it seem like your toenails aren’t growing because something is filing them. Kind of the way a dog’s nails may not need trimming because they are constantly getting worn away at the end. If you spend a lot of time walking barefoot, this could be the case.
  • Infections, especially fungal infections can make the nail thick or soft and crumbly or otherwise damaged and discolored. An antifungal medication can help.
  • Damage to the root of the toenail, from an injury, disease, or even side effect of a medication can make the toenail stop growing. Usually, a toenail will eventually recover from this type of damage on its own. If you don’t remember injuring your toe and the nail won’t grow, then seek out medical attention.
  • Certain health conditions, such as spinal injuries and paralysis may result in a lack of toenail growth.

Usually, waiting a few months will reveal that the toenail is growing, just very slowly. In the event your toenails won’t grow and you don’t know the cause or need treatment, seek out the advice of a podiatrist. They can write antifungal prescriptions and instruct you on a course of treatment to ensure that your toenails and feet remain healthy.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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