According to MyFoodDr https://www.myfootdr.com.au/2021/01/what-happens-when-you-lose-a-toenail/, the number one cause for nails falling off or becoming loose is trauma. This may look like dropping something heavy on your toenail, stubbing your toe, your big dog jumping on your toe. If you’re a skier or snowboarder, you might have a loose nail regularly from tight (but necessary) boots on the slopes. Sometimes, it can be as simple as not trimming a long toenail and spending a whole day on your feet, with the nail constantly pressing firmly against the end of the shoe. Other causes of nails becoming loose and detaching can include:
- Fungal nail infections
- Nail thickening (onychauxis)
- As a side effect of medical treatments like chemotherapy
As long as there’s nothing interfering with the nail-growing cells and this process, then your nail grows back, but the main question is that how long will this take?
According to Clinical Correlations https://www.clinicalcorrelations.org/2014/11/14/why-do-toenails-grow-more-slowly-than-fingernails/, toenails grow more slowly than fingernails. Fingernails grow a little over twice as quickly as toenails: an average rate of 3.47 mm/month compared to 1.62 mm/month [Yaemsiri S, Hou N, Slining MM, He K. Growth rate of human fingernails and toenails in healthy American young adults. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010;24(4):420-423.]
According to NetDoctor https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/, if there has been no permanent damage to the nail bed, the nail usually grows back over 6-9 months. The old nail has been giving shelter to the new one in its early stages of growth and the sequence of events that you describe is perfectly natural. So if your toenail falls off, it’ll usually grow back within a few months to a year. However, depending on the cause and the size of the lost toenail, it could take up to two years.
According to Wikihowhttps://www.wikihow.com/Help-a-Toenail-Grow-Back-Quickly, here are the most important steps to help a tonail grow back qucikly:
- Protect and clean the lost nail and also avoid getting your toe wet for the first 1-2 days after losing the nail.
- Use soaks and supplements to promote growth. Soak the nail in warm saltwater 2-3 times a day to prevent infection.
- Treat the nail with vitamin E ointment to encourage growth.
- Eat a diet rich in calcium and protein to promote better nail growth.
- Get a massage to promote better circulation in your feet.