I finished chemo in December and my nails were fine. I was told to wear dark nail varnish to help keep them strong. All of a sudden my nails have developed ridges and my thumb nail is lifting. I’m surprised this has happened so long after chemo has finished. Has this happened to anyone else and will they grow back as strong as they were. 

Many thanks 

Hi Jane

I finished chemo in Aug last year and developed deep ridges and my nails started lifting on a couple of fingers. I kept my nails short (to stop them getting snagged and lifting more) and massaged oil into them twice a day. My nail beds have fully recovered but I still have ridges although not quite as deep.

My 2 big toe nails were the same, although they didn’t fully lift, they are still a bit of a mess because they take much longer to grow so can’t cut the dead bits off very often.

Hope this helps a bit and hope yours recover quick.

Joemic x ?

Hi Spud68, 

I finished chemo last October and thought I had got away with the nail thing but…Three months later nails  started breaking off and were really painful. Now back to normal so all good. Hope yours are getting better too. Xx


I had my last chemo of 6 on 2nd june 2020.

One thumb nail has already lifted and the other is going the same way so mine has happened quite quick.

I am finding it a little awkward at times as I feel bit ‘fingers and thumbs’ and it looks pretty horrid.

I am guessing my nails will never be the same.

Chemo really does leave its mark.


According to my chiropodist this is very common. My big toe nails darkened and became loose a year later. It was 2 years before she agreed to treat me. In the meantime if you are afraid of making your nails worse use a large emery board rather than scissors to get them trim