Repair torn nails

A torn nail mainly causes pain. The nail is torn down to the nail bed (the pink part of the nail). The crack can be vertical or horizontal. There are several options for repairing a torn nail.

What are nails?

Nails protect the fingertips and the tips of the toes, so that calluses do not form here. Anyone who has calluses on their fingertips has much less feeling. People can scratch themselves with their nails, but also pick things loose.
In about seven months, a fingernail grows completely new. For toenails this period is twelve to eighteen months.

Why do nails crack?

Long nails in particular tear or break off easily. This is because long nails are more fragile. If there is too much pressure on it, it can easily break or tear. Broken nails do not cause many problems: trimming or filing the broken nail prevents further chipping. In addition, touching up the torn nail prevents frayed edges that can easily get caught on something.
Torn nails are often painful. The nail can tear deeply. As long as the nail tears up to the white part (the floating part of the nail), there is nothing to worry about. When the nail cracks down to the nail bed (the pink part of the nail), this can be very painful. Depending on the depth and location of the tear, different treatments are possible.

Trimming and taping a torn nail

It is important that the torn nail is cut as short as possible, so that the white part does not protrude and cannot put pressure on the nail. The torn nail is then covered with a plaster with a plaster. The plaster must replace the function of the nail: it must hang slightly over the fingertip so that the fingertip is protected against callus formation. The patch should be stuck firmly around the nail so that the nail is pressed against the skin. If the patch gets wet, it may come off, so replace the patch regularly. The nail should also be trimmed every week. Depending on the location of the tear, the nail will be repaired after 1 to 6 months.

Nail hardener or glue

A torn nail hurts: as soon as there is pressure to move, the nerves emit a pain signal. By using special nail glue or hardener, the crack can be “sealed”. This nail hardener applies a hard layer over the nail, protecting it. Most nail hardeners can only be used on chipped nails or minor cracks. For larger cracks, a heavier adhesive is required. Sometimes super glue is also used to hold the crack in place. Make sure that the glue does not come into contact with the underlying skin.
Another solution is to apply an artificial nail: this is applied over the existing nail. As long as the nail has not fully recovered, the artificial nail will have to remain in place.

Horizontal or vertical crack in the nail

There is a difference in the type of crack in the nail. A horizontal crack is most common. The nail shows a horizontal crack that runs from left to right or vice versa. The crack can be close to the cuticle, but will usually be halfway down or against the white part of the nail.
A vertical crack is a crack that runs from top to bottom. Sometimes the tear extends to the cuticle. These cracks are usually much more difficult to heal, because they often involve incorrect loading of the nail. Vertical cracks are especially common on the toenails. Sometimes it can be seen that the toe is crooked, so that part of the nail is, as it were, walked on. The nail cannot handle the pressure and will tear vertically. As long as the pressure on the nail remains, the crack will not heal.

Tips to prevent torn nails

To prevent torn nails, it is important that the nails remain strong and healthy. Vitamin B strengthens the nails from within. The cuticles also need to be kept supple: after all, the nail grows from the cuticle. Applying a nourishing oil every day keeps the cuticles firm and supple.
Anyone who works a lot with water will notice that the nails become brittle more quickly. Protective gloves are therefore recommended. Long nails also break off more quickly: therefore always use a sturdy (nail) polish that protects and strengthens the nails. If you do a lot of work that causes your nails to break off quickly, it is better to keep your nails short. short nails are less likely to tear than long nails. Also be careful when picking: sometimes nails are used so frequently or incorrectly that they tear easily.

Scroll to Top