I've been trying to find information about how a nail should look when it is regrowing after trama. Looking through the net has really only got me answers saying the nail will grow back after falling off, but does not say how it should look. I had the nail stomped on while playing soccer a few months back, I think almost 3 or 4 months ago. It turned purple, I guess blood, and finally the dead nail fell off a couple days ago.
The new nail is about halfway regrown and there is a thin layer on top of the skin where there is no hard nail yet. My question without posting any photos is how should the nail actually look? Should it have some space in front that you can feel similar to a full grown nail at the edge of your toe? Mine seems to be smooth from the regrown hard nail to the thin layer just before it. Is this normal?
There is also bit of a bump just after the "lunna"(?) part of my new nail. I read on some running sites that is kind of common with trama. My main question though is how should the regrowth look in regards to the actual nail and the thin layer (nail bed?). Should there be a space, or should it kind of be smooth?
It totally depends on exactly where on the nail the trauma occurred and the force at which it occurred. If it was hit close to or on the Matrix (the leading edge of the matrix is the Lunula), then it may develop a bump or a depression (trench). This will usually grow forward with the new emerging nail plate, or it could end up being permanent . The thin layer on top of the nail bed is the portion of nail plate that developes in the deepest layer of the Matrix. This layer is firmly attached to the nail bed. As the new nail continues to grow, this layer will be pushed forward along with the new nail. Yes, there is usually a ridge between the damaged nail and the thin layer. What you are describing is normal for the type of damage sustained in the accident.
Well when I run my finger from the top of my toe on the thin layer to the new nail, it feels like there is no kind of separation between the two. It feels like they are connected. So if I got your reply correct, this thin layer is not actually the nail bed, but just part of the recovery process. So the new nail and this portion are actually both part of the nail? So there shouldn't be anything to worry about?
Yes, it is all nail plate although the thin layer is what is left from the damaged nail coming off. Sometimes, trauma can rip the entire nail plate off the nail bed, leaving exposed soft skin. Sometimes, depending on the extent of the trauma, it will only separate the nail plate layers and leave the bottom most portion attached to the nail bed. In this regard, you were lucky. It should grow out fine.