A split toenail could be very irritating for anyone. It could cause severe pain and you will have the never-ending fear of brushing it against something that could rip it apart. You won’t be able to focus on anything if you have a cracked toenail that has already reached your nail bed. The only effective solution to this problem is letting the nail grow out. But that would take a lot of time and you won’t like that if you’re nail-obsessed and try different nail art designs every other day. In this article, we are going to explore the causes, solution, and prevention measures of split or cracked toenails.
How to Fix A Cracked Toenail: Home Treatments for Nail Repairing
Cracked toenail repair can be done in many ways. According to the severity of the split or crack on your nails, the method would vary. If the split is in the outer portion of the nail and didn’t reach the nail bed then it would be considered a minor crack or split. On the other hand, if the split is beyond the nail bed, that would be serious and require a bit more attention or professional advice. However, most nail split or crack problems are easy to resolve and you can actually do it yourself right at your home.
Different home split toenail repair techniques have been described below in detail. You can use any one of these or a combination according to the severity of the problem.
Remedy for Minor or Less Severe Splits
If you have a minor split on your nail, you should give immediate attention to it. Minor splits usually don’t hurt but could lead to aggravation of the splits or cracks. In case of minor splits, you can choose any one or a combination of the following options.
1. File Down Your Nail
If your nail crack hasn’t reached the nail bed yet, you can file your nail and remove the split. But you have to follow the right method of filing. Otherwise, filing the wrong way could worsen the split. So, how to do that? Here’s your guide:
- Filing a dry nail can worsen the situation. Soak your nail in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
- Use a clean file
- File in the direction of the split. To prevent any further split file only in one direction.
- File past the base (just slightly) of the split or crack.
2. Use Tape to Hold the Split
This is an on-the-go solution for nail splits. If you notice any split or crack on your nail at office or when outside the home, you can use tape to hold the split. It will prevent the split to reach further until you take care of it after getting home.
Cut a piece of tape just enough to cover the nail at first. Then holding the crack together with a free hand, apply the tape over the nail and cut any excess part of the tape. Remember, it is a temporary solution and you should give it your full attention when you get home.
3. Use Glue to Stick Nail Cracks
You can use glue to stick the nail together only if the split is minor i.e. a split that has not reached the nail bed yet.
- Apply glue along with the split line.
- Use an orange stick to hold the split until the glue dries up. It would take 2 to 3 minutes.
- Use a cotton swab dripped with nail polish remover to remove any excess glue from your nail.
- Apply a layer of nail polish coat on the top of the glued nail to seal the crack.
4. Tea-Bag Method
This is an effective way you would like if you are eager to know how to fix a cracked toenail. You can use this method in case of both minor and severe nail split problems. You will need only a tea bag paper, nail polish, and a file for this DIY nail strengthener technique.
- Remove any nail polish from your nail with a nail polish remover.
- Cut the top of an unused tea bag. You need the tea bag paper for this procedure. So, drop the tea leaves and take the tea bag paper intact.
- Cut the tea bag paper into a rectangular size, which will be slightly bigger than your nail size.
- Apply a thin layer of clear nail polish on your split nail. This layer will work as a bonding agent to attach the tea bag paper.
- Place the cut piece of the tea bag paper on the split of your nail, while the nail polish is wet. Make sure that you cover the whole nail with the tea bag paper and there is no air bubble underneath the paper.
- Wait for some time to let the nail polish dry.
- Cut the excess part of the tea bag paper that is hanging from your nail. You don’t have to cut accurately since you can file it down later when the procedure will be completed.
- Apply another layer of clear nail polish on the top of the tea bag paper and let it dry.
- File the nail with excess tea bag paper at the edge. At this point, your tea bag can be see-through.
- Apply a layer of normal nail polish to seal off everything.
Remedy for Severe Nail Splits
Severe nail splits or cracks that extend beyond the nail bed can be very painful. It is very important for you to take good care of them as soon as possible to prevent any kind of fungal infections and to keep enjoying your pedicure and manicure routines.
1. Keep Your Nail Clean
You should clean the split or cracked nail regularly with mild warm water. Don’t use excessive force and the water should not be too hot. Also, it is wise not to use towels or papers to wipe the cracked nail since there is a risk of paper of towel fiber getting caught in the crack.
2. Apply First Aid
If the split reaches the nail bed, there is a high chance of bleeding and inflammation or severe pain. If that’s the case, apply first aid kit onto the wound and put a little pressure to stop bleeding. When the bleeding stops, apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin to the inflicted area and bandage it afterwards.
3. Over The Counter Pain Killer
You can use over-the-counter painkiller medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce pain if it is unbearable.
4. Leave It Alone
It might be very tempting to cut or shape or even pull out the nail when you have a cracked or split toenail. But you should have enough patience to let it grow if those you think pulling or shaping would do no good. In the meantime, try to keep your nail safe from brushing against anything around you. You can try the tea bag method mentioned above when the crack is halfway to let it grow in full.
5. Seek Medical Help
If you are a diabetic patient or have neuropathy or experiencing continuous bleeding and pain, you should get medical attention immediately. There is a great chance of damage to the bones, nails, or tissues under the nail.
Preventing Future Nail Splits
To keep your nails healthy and prevent any future nail splits, it is important to know what causes fingernails to split and how to strengthen nails. Trauma, malnutrition, and iron deficiency are the main reasons for nail cracks and nail splits. Here are some tips to reducing the chances of nail splits and strengthening your nails.
1. Moisturize Your Nails
Keep your nails moisturized. You can use petroleum jelly, foot cream or cuticle cream to moisturize your nails.
2. Don’t Use Nail Polish or Fake Nails Very Often
Nail polishes often have chemicals that make your nails dry and brittle. That is why you should not overuse it. This is also true for the fake nails too. Both of them contribute to the deterioration of your nail’s health.
3. Use the Natural Ways to Strengthen Nails
Soaking your feet in tea tree oil or sesame oil is great for your nails and cuticles. You should follow this treatment procedure for at least 10 minutes a week. This will add moisture and reduce brittleness. These are the natural ways to strengthen nails. You can also apply cuticle oil supplements for better results.
4. Eat Vitamin-E Rich Foods
Vitamin-E is good for your skin, hair, and nails. You should eat foods that are rich in vitamin E. Avocado, nuts, vegetable oils, broccoli, and spinach are few examples of Vitamin E enriched foods. These foods or vitamin E supplements are the best nail treatment for peeling nails and nail splits.
As you can see, there are many ways to fix a split toenail. I have shared some of the easiest and safest ways that you could try anytime without any complications. However, avoiding any possibility of the occurrence of cracked nails is more important. Taking care of toenails requires knowing prevention measures and how to fix a cracked toenail as well.