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Skin Care and Diseases

Fingernail regrowth problem

07/18/2006

Question:

I lost a fingernail due to an undetermined injury or infection. The nail came off then never regrew properly. Recently I noticed new growth about 1/16 of an inch emerging from the cuticle area. But it is not attached to the nail plate--just a ragged fringe sticking up. Can this be "glued" down so it will not be damaged and can continue to grow out? Is there a medical adhesive that could be used? or a commercial product like superglue? I really want to protect this new growth in the hopes a new nail might finally be forming. Any suggestions?

Answer:

I am not certain what your regrowth really is.  It sounds as though you have growth of the cuticle, and not of the nail plate at all.  You should be examined by someone who is familiar with nail pathology, such as your board certified dermatologist.  The use of glues and its role in this growth unfortunately are not known to me.  It is most important that a correct diagnosis be established and then you should decide about the care of this new growth.  See your physician soon.

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati