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Answer to your Health Question

Question:

It seems that my toenail has stopped growing.

I want to know what might be the problem.

Tammie

Answer:

Dear Tammie,

Nails grow slowly: it will take an average of six months for a fingernail to grow out completely, and a toenail takes at least twice as long.

They also seem to grow more slowly as we get older.

Physical damage to the root, nail Infections, drug side effects, skin growths, ( warts, cysts, or moles), skin conditions (psoriasis and eczema) malnutrition and disease processes (Addison's disease, peripheral arterial disease, or HIV infection) are reasons for having a toenail not growing.

When the blood contains substances that stunt growth (e.g. the cytostatics in chemotherapy with cancer, hazardous substances from smoking), nails stop growing.

Injury to the root of the nail can distort a nail temporarily, while severe or repeated injury can permanently distort a nail. People who engage in sports such as soccer can experience this kind of damage.

The matrix is the tissue (germinal matrix) upon which the nail rests.

The matrix is responsible for the production of the cells that become the nail plate.

The width and thickness of the nail plate is determined by the size, length, and thickness of the matrix, while the shape of the fingertip itself determines if the nail plate is flat, arched, or hooked.

The matrix will continue to grow as long as it receives nutrition and remains in a healthy condition.

As new nail plate cells are incubated, they emerge from the matrix round and white to push older nail plate cells forward; and in this way yet older cells become compressed, flat, and translucent, making the pink colour of the capillaries in the nail bed below visible.

The root of the fingernail is also known as the germinal matrix.

The germinal matrix the reason the nail plate is healthy.

The germinal matrix is the simply tissue that creates a toenail.

The growth of the nail is retarded if an individual is in poor health or disease or there is an injury to the nail matrix.

Defective circulation to the germinal matrix may stop nails growing.


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