How long it takes for a nail to completely replace itself?

Nails are fundamental structures in our body, not only because they offer protection to the fingertip but also they are like our visiting card. Everybody notices them, so we want them in the best shape possible. It’s the reason why we should always take care of them, wash them properly and keep them as healthy and strong as possible.

Nail anatomy

It’s a well-known fact that fingernails grow faster than toenails, and also it’s easily observed. The nail is composed of different anatomic structures that make up a protective and tough structure.

Beautiful nails

The nail plate is the tough, hard part of the nail. It is made of a tough protein called keratin which is responsible for its strength. Apart from keratin, it also has multiple layers of dead and compacted cells to offer flexibility as well.

The nail bed is the structure that lays under the nail plate. It has two types of tissues:

  • Dermis: which is a deep tissue and also has capillaries to ensure blood supply and even glands
  • Epidermis: is the layer immediately under the plate

The nail also has a matrix, or medically called onychostroma. It’s a type of tissue that contains nerves, lymph, and small blood vessels. Its primary function is to produce new cells that will later replace the nail place. In other words, it’s responsible for the renewal of the nail.

Nail production

Our body continually produces new nail cells that grow and form a plate at the root of the nail. They became strong and hardened when the keratin proteins are added, and they protect and cover the nail bed. As long as you provide all the nutrients needed for nail production, these cells will consistently replace the nail. As they produce new nail plate cells, they push out the older nail plate cells. The old cells become flat and translucent, and the nail grows in length.

The nail takes all the nutrients that it needs from its blood supply and also, the blood vessels are the ones responsible for the pink color of the nails.

Unfortunately, nails grow at a slow rate. The fingernails grow roughly about three millimeters every month. If by any reason, you lose an entire fingernail, it will take about four to six months to replace itself completely. This process takes even longer in toenails than fingernails. Toenails take approximately one year to one year and a half to grow from cuticle to tip.

What should I do?

You should always look for changes in the appearance of the nails. Conditions such as onychomycosis can lead to separation of the nail plate from the nail bed and eventually the nail might come off, or you might get it surgically removed. Since the nails grow slowly, you should avoid these types of nail conditions and prevent them.

A very efficient way of prevention is using antifungal products that limit the spread of fungi responsible for onychomycosis. A smart choice would be ZetaClear, which is entirely natural and safe to use for strong and healthy nails.