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Nails lost from chemotherapy

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Old 02-02-2009, 06:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canada
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dustydigger HB User
Nails lost from chemotherapy

I lost several fingernail and toenails as a result of chemo. All have since grown back fine except for both of my big toes. A new nail began growing under the old nail. Eventually the old nail came off leaving a new nail approximately half the way down my toe. The new nail on both toes is very rough and thick and somewhat mis-shapen, and doesn't seem to be growing. Should I just let these nails grow out in their own time, or should I see my doctor and maybe get them removed to make room for properly growing new nails. I sure hope someone could give me their advice about this. Thanks alot. Dave

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Old 02-03-2009, 05:38 AM   #2
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Marti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB User
Re: Nails lost from chemotherapy

Chemo does a number on your whole bdy, including your nails and hair since they are both made from the same type of Keratin Proteins - one hard and the other soft. I would leave them alone rather than to have them removed. Toenails take a lot longer to grow - up to a year for complete replacement. Since the chemo affected the matrix, it will take a long time until it begins to develop 'normal' nail plate cells. The damaged portion will eventually be pushed off the free edge and the nails should be 'normal' again.

My husband damaged the matrix on his thumb and is complaining about the same thing. The current nail plate is growing in with deep horizontal ridges and there is a very thin coating of nail plate on the remainder of the 'old' nail bed. I can feel the nail plate at the matrix is thicker, but it will also grow in funny. Once the matrix has completely healed and begins to develop normal undamaged cells. it will grow in just fine. Whenever the Matrix is damaged from trauma, high fever, chemo, etc, it takes a break from properly developing cells - you will jsut have to wait it out.

Old 02-03-2009, 08:48 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 59
dustydigger HB User
Re: Nails lost from chemotherapy

Hi Marti. Thank you so much for the information. I was thinking that sooner or later things would sort themselves out if I left them alone. Best regards. Dave

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