It’s easy to take your fingernails or toenails for granted until something happens to them. Just about everyone has smashed a fingernail with a hammer, in a door, or while playing a sport. Or they got their nail caught on something and ripped the nail out. They are left with a little bit of blood under the nail and severe pain. Thankfully, in the vast majority of cases, nail injuries are not super serious. In addition to seeking treatment, there are steps you can take to promote nail regrowth after an injury.
Your nails are unbelievably resilient, so nail regrowth is usually possible. Every 10 days, your fingernails grow one millimeter. As you get older, you may not have as much blood flowing to your nails as you did in youth, and so the rate of growth may decrease slightly.
Since we use our fingers constantly, it’s easy for us to damage our nails. Some people are just susceptible to brittle nails. If you have a job that causes you to use strong chemicals every day or if your job means that your hands are constantly wet, then your nails may be more susceptible to damage or injury. You can prevent some of these injuries by keeping your hands moisturized and using the proper protection for your nails.
When you experience nail injuries, you might notice some white marks underneath your nails. These white marks are temporary and should disappear within a few weeks or months. If the injury is severe, your nail might turn black or purple. This color change is because of blood that has accumulated underneath the nail. As your nail gets better after professional treatment at our office, the black or purple color will go away and the natural color will return.
The black and purple colors caused by an injury should not be confused with melanoma, which also can cause your nails to turn black or brown. If an injury causes your nail to separate from the nail bed, regardless of the type of injury, your nail cannot reattach. Your nail will need to regrow from scratch, and this could take months to a year and a half.
There are some steps that you can take at home to promote nail regrowth after an injury. Our team at Arora Hand Surgery can explain more during a consultation at our office in Warren, West Bloomfield, Macomb Township, or Howell. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.