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ask: Is two toenails uncommon? Should I be concerned?

By Cindy
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I have a toe nail that appears to have two toenails growing...literally one on top of the other. Should I be concerned about this? It doesn't hurt at all but it just odd.

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EmpowHER Guest

Had two big toes like that for 15+ years, after careless clipping habits and bad fit shoes led to ingrowns there. Was told it was from a split nail bed, two sides growing disconnected, but got my doubts. Why?

Well... I CURRENTLY HAVE DOUBLES OR TRIPLES ON ALL 20 NAILS - or rather, all ~43 of them.hat
Happened after chicken pox messed with my hands 2-3 months ago - so much peeling that literally peeled entire hands several times over, but was kinda afraid to go too deep...waited too long, all the dried dead skin pushed around and kinda deformed my nails. Same on feet a week later.

Also heard iron deficiency, zinc, or calcium may be at fault. Can rule out zinc, doubt its calcium unless being sick gave me D3 deficiency and I couldnt absorb the calcium I had plenty of...again though, unlikely-ish, a blood test some years back actually clocked me at the highest (!) PPM of D3 that doc had ever seen, he even freaked about it for a bit.

Will investigate iron deficiency. My diet is weird due tp allergies to gluten and refined sugar, so stuff like fortified grains never ends up on my plate...who knows. But the recent "childproof it by making all multivitamins 0% iron" trend already had me wondering, so iron deficiency on an unusual diet is my main suspect

PS you can clear nailpolish your layers together or superglue em on the ends. Do be careful with all CA glues though, minors and noobs stick to clear polish

PPS male, 29, white, fairly healthy. Oh yeah, possible coincidence - but freak occurrence of waves and waves of suddenly ingrowing hair stubble that never used to curl this hard and stubborn before (face, neck, chest, shoulders). And, get this, ALSO >2 HAIRS PER PROBLEM FOLLICLE (3-8+!!!), again with stuff doubling huh....

And one massive twoday shed of hairloss during chicken pox, took off like 20-30% overnight - but had been blaming doctors' careless steroid script on that (took it only once too). Seems to be growing back tho.

February 10, 2015 - 2:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have the same thing is it bad

October 9, 2014 - 5:23pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have a similar problem. I am 13 and my toenails have always been short due to me picking them all the time (I've now grown out my fingernails so I can now stop with the picking as it'll ruin them.) One day my second toe had separated from the nail bed - or so I thought. I have now figured out it is a separate layer that has lifted up! I freaked myself out about it until I thought I was going to throw up with stress and worry... But I just want to ask you guys if the bottom layer reattaches to the top one once it has started growing again, this is my last worry about it. Seriously, I thought I would have to get surgery or something, I was so scared!

July 29, 2014 - 9:23am
EmpowHER Guest

All my toenails on my right foot are connected together. I wish i could post a pic... It looks like my Right foot has one toe... My doctor is having me visit a specialist next week.

July 21, 2014 - 1:18pm
EmpowHER Guest

26 years ago my then 3 year old son was playing, goofing around on one of our wooden kitchen chairs. It tipped and fell. The edge of the seat hit right at the base of the nail on my big toe. The toe swelled, filled with fluid, turned purple, and I was in excruciating pain. I went to the doctor, and he removed the nail. He said I was lucky, it will grow back. He was right, it did. However, it grows out perfectly fine one time, and the next time it grows with a nail on top of a nail. Every nail growth is alternate. Doesn't hurt, never has. Just strange, that's all.

June 25, 2014 - 10:27am
EmpowHER Guest

This happened to my big toe in 2008 after going thru cancer treatment. I continue to have it and now also noticed a nail growing underneath a nail on a center toe. Doesn't hurt. Top nail eventually peels off. Have so many other side effects after having head cancer twice now I haven't worried about it. Glad to see it's not just me.

February 21, 2014 - 4:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

The story is the same for me.

At 43, I did pre-op chemo and radiation, then after I had my entire colon and rectum removed in an 8 hour surgery, I almost died from a frigging staph infection.

Then, at the advice of my oncologist, did post-op chemo which was MUCH more aggressive than the pre-op chemo. This was to kill stray cancer cells. How I wish I wouldn't have listened to my family and friends. They all told me to do it, you have to, what if you die. Well, hind sight is yadda yadda, but I should have gone with my gut feeling. Chemo ruined my life even worse than I could have imagined.

I was supposed to do 8 post-op treatments, 1 every other week, take home a noisy pump for three days, and then return to have it removed from my port. All at the cost of over $20,000 per treatment(that's the price of the chemo only). I quit after the THIRD treatment due to the side effects.

Soon afterwards, the REAL side effects took place. My feet are now completely f*cked from neropathy, I am sterile, I am impotent, and I have major joint pain. Add to that, extreme tinnitus, fatigue, 3 years of severe depression, pain, and oh yah, my big toenails are disgusting, which is how I found this thread.

March 1, 2015 - 6:00am
EmpowHER Guest

My middle toes on both feet have 2 layers, one will grow under the top pushing the top off from the cuticle area of my nail, after a little time, I can lift the toenail from the cuticle and cut it off piece by piece, slowly until the under nail has grown out completely. I wouldn't recommend "ripping it off" like an earlier post said. In time you can clip the top nail completely away and have a new nail. Problem is if you like to paint your nails, makes it difficult when the under nail starts pushing the upper nail off, looks really weird. Last week something new happened though, my pinky toenail came completely off, just lifted right off without any nail under it. None of the nails hurt but it kind of freaks me out, it reminded me a lot of the movie, "The Fly", when he started pulling his nails off......... WEIRD!!! I'm just worried that it might be a vitamin deficiency and it the toenails are the first warning signs....... ugh! If anyone knows cures, I'm all ears

December 19, 2012 - 9:48pm
EmpowHER Guest

The second toenail on the pinky toe is actually called a lister corn. I'm 31 and I've had this on both pinky toes for about 10 years. Google "lister corn" and learn more about it.

October 30, 2012 - 6:18am

This is NOT medical advice but my story. Been there done that. The top nail dies. You can wait until beyond the time when it is too uncomfortable & basically grab the end tip of the nail & lift yanking it off hard peeling it off the base. Will be ugly & sore underneath with a tad of blood but wash it off & put an ointment / bandaids over it. Wash well every day & after about 2-3 days you will notice you got an entire clean new nail under it (was there all along). Or if it bothers you before the top nail is totally dead, dig out a corner and basically "LET IT RIP!" pulling it from one corner to the other tearing it off hard. You might have to do each end to get it all & even get straggler pieces the next day or two if you were really early (even “carve” off pieces) but, again, you will find a new thin nail underneath. The question then is did your injury (mine was long distance running) permanently damage your nail bed or a one time thing? If permanent the good news is toe nails grow very slowly but the bad news is you will have to do this again in 3 to 6 months. Note, I am a long distance runner who was always smashing toe nails against the inside of the shoes, blistering all over, sweating, & getting smashed nails leading to double nails. The answer for me has been wearing Injinji 5 toe socks with Vibram 5 Finger Shoes. The socks cushion each toe & keeps the moisture out so you do not blister. The shoes protect each tow. My longest tow next to the big fat one still hits the sneaker base a little but it is much softer material. The Vibram 5s take time getting use to so start slow & build up. They are not for everyone but once use to them they have been my miracle. I got over 450 miles out of my first pair & not a single blister. There is a slight hole at the end of the long tow sockets on each food so there is some friction there but it is much softer material than a regular sneaker. Yes, I know it is gross but I do “LET IT RIP” and I feel wonderful after!

June 20, 2012 - 4:34pm
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