No, you’re not imagining it – your toenails really do grow much more slowly than your fingernails.
Fingernails grow about 3mm per month and it can take about 6 months for the fingernail to grow its entire length, from the root to the free end. Toenails, however, grow only about 1.6mm per month.
Why fingernails are a speedier bunch, however, remains something of a mystery. There are two plausible theories, though…
“Terminal Trauma”This essentially means that the more you use a digit, the quicker the nail grows: Your body assumes that with greater use comes greater wear and tries to regenerate them appropriately.
In addition, if you are right handed, your right fingernails will grow faster than your left since your dominant hand gets more use.
Meanwhile, your toenails are safe and sound in the comfort of your shoes so the these nails grow more slowly.
“Blood Flow”The second theory suggests that the rate of nail growth corresponds directly with the amount of blood flowing through a digit. Since your hands are closer to the heart than your feet are, more blood is flowing through your fingers than through your toes. Thus, longer fingernails.
Supporters of this theory point out that nails in general grow slower in cold weather, when blood flow would be restricted.
So there you have it. Not an entirely satisfying explanation but still some interesting tidbits on nails.
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