Re: How does a toenail grow back after surgical removal?
Oh, I just found the "Natural Nails" section of Marti's site. Maybe the hard coating on top of my matrix are the early nail cells, and they will be pushed up and then forward by the more traditionally nail-like cells that are growing below? That kind-of makes sense (the coating is as hard as nails are, just a little different - puffed up a little more, and lumpier-looking).
The only weird part to me, if that's true, is that my cuticle isn't sticking to anything yet. I only have thick skin back there - it doesn't taper down to the thinness that cuticles usually seem to have where they stick to the nail. And then if I bend my toe, I can see under the skin - the gap goes back a couple of millimeters. Maybe it's because I still have some inflammation (and discoloration, for that matter) to the skin between my "nail" (nail area, where it once was) and the knuckle. My cuticle was detached from my nail before because of all the inflammation from the infection.
It's really weird to try to make sense of a process that usually is hidden by your nail.