Does a Cracked Toenail Grow Back? Explained

Oh no! You have a cracked toenail. You maybe just stubbed it while you were in a rush, or perhaps you’re not wearing shoes with enough room in the toe box.

If you’re prone to certain foot conditions, cracked toenails can also be a symptom of something more sinister.

A slight detachment or crack is not a pressing issue. But if you do crack your toenail, you probably have a lot of questions. In this article, we’ll answer the following:

  • Does a Cracked Toenail Grow Back?
  • What are the Stages of Nail Regrowth?
  • Are There Cracked Toenail Remedies and Treatments?

Does a Cracked Toenail Grow Back?

A mild case of a cracked toenail is no cause for alarm. A torn or detached nail will eventually grow back, and you will notice progress about 6-8 weeks after your toenail cracked.

But it’s important to state the obvious: once the toenail detaches itself completely from the nail bed, you can’t simply reattach it. You will have to play the waiting game.

Furthermore, the cause of the cracked toenail may determine how long it will take to grow back fully. Losing a toenail due to psoriatic arthritis, a fungal infection, or surgical removal can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to grow back completely. Blunt force trauma, like a severe stubbed toe or toe injury, may take up to two years to grow back.

What are the Stages of Nail Regrowth?

According to Healthline, toenails take longer to grow than fingernails:

  • Nail growth stems from the toenail’s matrix underneath the skin.
  • The matrix is responsible for producing new skin cells that replace old ones, making room for nail growth.
  • After a trauma-induced cracked toenail, the nail matrix may not be able to create new skin cells for some time.
  • However, the matrix will eventually start replenishing cells at a faster, more normal rate. As we mentioned, you may already notice progress at six weeks.
  • Older cells reaching the surface harden, creating the nail and restructuring your cracked toenail.

Cracked Toenail Remedies and Treatment

It’s frustrating having a cracked toenail, especially a cracked big toenail. Wearing shoes can be painful, and it may take up to a year before your nail looks normal again. But luckily, there are ways to manage pain and protect your nail health.

The typical course of action is to wait patiently for the nail to grow back, but you may require care from a chiropodist in the interim. Here are some remedies that may help you out:


Research suggests a link between nail health and this B-complex vitamin, specifically for its cell-signaling ability. Foods with healthy fats, like eggs and salmon, contain biotin. You can also take biotin supplements. 


Sometimes, nails may grow back ingrown or misshapen. If this happens to you, your chiropodist may recommend Onyfix. This exciting and contemporary treatment acts as a brace for the nail while redirecting nail growth and aligning the shape as it grows. As a bonus, it’s completely painless!

Regular nail care

Want to avoid cracked toenails and complications? Keep your toenails strong and clean.

This means regular filing, trimming, cleaning, and more. Your cracked toenail won’t grow back as smoothly if you tend to neglect nail care, and brittle nails are more susceptible to damage. Furthermore, your cracked toenail is more vulnerable to bacterial growth if you don’t take care of it.

A great way to ensure your nails stay healthy is by scheduling regular medical pedicures and nail care.

While you wait for a cracked toenail to grow back fully, avoid getting a cosmetic pedicure. Don’t just assume that because your nail is making progress, it’s finished growing. Nail polishes at salons often contain harmful chemicals that weaken your nails, like toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.

Cracked Toenail? Pay Us a Visit!

While most cracked toenails re-grow with no issues, a more serious case may require a chiropodist’s assistance to manage pain. Feet First Clinic can help!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

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Carolina Charles

Patient Relation Coordinator (She/Her)

If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures. She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.