Q&A

Will a nail grow back after being clipped at the lunula?

Q.

I accidentally clipped my nail at the lunula when nipping acrylic and a large portion of my nail was removed. I treated it with iodine and kept it bandaged until it started to heal. Will my nail ever grow back?

A.

Since the nail matrix or growth center ends underneath the nail plate in the lunula, an injury to the nail matrix can result in an abnormal nail or even loss of the nail plate. If the nail matrix has been injured slightly but no scar formation has developed, then the nail will eventually grow back, although it may take as long as six months. On the other hand, if the nail matrix has been injured severely enough to cause permanent scarring, then the nail will either grow back abnormally or it will not grow back at all. If the new nail growing in from the cuticle area does not appear to be normal, I recommend seeing a dermatologist.

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