Nail Reconstruction – Fingernails are essential components, they play a vital role by improving sensation and supporting the fingernail pad. Not only that, but nails also help perform crucial functions in supporting your pads.
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There can be various injuries that relate to the nail. These can range from having bruises right under the nail and or a gap between the nail and the nail bed.
These injuries also vary in severity. Some can be temporary nail injuries while others can be permanent nail injuries.
Nail reconstruction will depend on how severe the injury on the nail is.
For some injuries, it may take only one week to repair the damaged nail while other injuries can take several months before nail reconstruction becomes successful.
The Structure of a Nail
- Nail plate
This layer is on the back of a finger or toe, and it has a hard surface.
- Nail bed
This layer is vital to the nail or finger as it offers support to the nail and also enhances nail growth.
- Cuticle layer
This layer of skin found on the sides of the nail.
How Do Nail Injuries Happen?
An injury can occur especially to people who have long nails, be it fingernails or toenails.
A fingernail can suffer an injury for example by hitting an object. On the other hand, a toenail can get an injury for example by wearing cramped shoes.
- Fungal Infection
A fingernail or a toenail can sustain injuries from fungal infections which mostly occur under the nail bed. Mostly.
Toenails get affected more than the fingernails because of wearing closed shoes, allowing for a moist environment which attracts bacteria to thrive.
- Contact with chemicals
Coming into contact with some chemicals contained in the soaps we bathe in can also damage the nails.
- Taking some medicines
Intake of some medicines such as the ones recommended during the chemotherapy sessions can negatively impact the growth and strength of your nails.
- Some skin conditions
There are some skin conditions that damage and wear out the nails. For instance, psoriasis.
- Suffering from long-term illnesses
Some illnesses such as cancer can weaken the nails, making them more prone to infections or injuries.
Symptoms of an Injured Fingernail or Toenail
- Blood clot under the fingertip or the toe tip of the nail.
This symptom occurs under the nail and is seen by having a red or purple color.
You can contract blood clots randomly or by hitting it with a strong impact.
- Cut through all the three layers of the nail
If you spot blood caused by a cut, then you have an injured fingernail. This injury relates to cutting or slashing objects by using sharp objects like a knife.
- Nail tip or fingertip amputation
Amputation of the fingertip is when a nail tip or a finger is detached from the nail completely. This injury is painful and you can have a hard time moving your fingers.
- Nail bone fracture
This symptom is pretty much self-explanatory. In most cases, it is diagnosed medically by conducting an x-ray first.
How to Diagnose Nail Injuries
The right time to visit the doctor is when the following indicators are in place:
- If the person having an injured nail has health conditions such as diabetes, is suffering from HIV/AIDS, is undertaking chemotherapy sessions. These health conditions are severe, and some medications taken can cause more harm than good to the injury sustained.
- If the person injured has not had a tetanus injection for the last ten years.
- When the injury does not show healing signs after applying home care treatment for two consecutive days.
Following the above features, any person with nail injury should visit a nearby hospital for check-up and treatment.
Most of the nail injuries are not severe. An emergency ambulance is not really necessary if you happen to contract one.
How Nail Injuries Get Diagnosed Medically
Immediately after visiting the doctor with nail injuries, the doctor conducts a detailed check up on your foot or hand.
After the check-up, the doctor will prescribe the right medicine should you need one.
The check-up procedure can include:
- Performing an oral examination by asking the patient the cause of the nail injury. The exercise will help the doctor to know whether the injured nail is contaminated or not.
- Checking your health history or if you’re undergoing chemotherapy sessions. The doctor might also ask for your last tetanus shot.
- After knowing your health conditions, the doctor will perform a blood pressure test.
- At times when the doctor will not get the extent of the nail injury, the doctor will conduct an X-ray examination on the injured hand or foot.
- After all the check-up and clear results obtained, the doctor will then recommend the right prescriptions to heal or repair the injured nail.
Medications Prescribed by the Doctor for Nail Injuries
- For nail bruise
The doctor may use a painless procedure of draining the blood of the injured part by removing the nail using a heated nail. By doing this, the doctor will examine the nail bed and provide sensation to the damaged nail.
- For the nail cut
The doctor will use a medicated glue to attach the broken nail back to the fingertip or even use a uniquely made gauze designed for fitting back the damaged part of the nail.
- For amputation of the fingertip or nail tip
The doctor will reattach the tip by use of surgery methods as using medicated glue might not work.
How to Take Care of the Injured Nail After Medical Diagnosis
- For stitched nail tips, the doctor will advise the patient to visit the hospital after a few days for the removal of the stitches.
- The doctor will prescribe the right antibiotics to take for killing germs and any infections which might take place on the wound.
- The doctor will give directions on how to take care of the wound may be through the cleaning or by exercising to quicken the healing process.
Home Treatment for Damaged nails
You can also resort to home remedies for your nail reconstruction. Some of the home treatment remedies include the following:
Tea Bag Method
Performing nail reconstruction with a tea bag gives wonderful results.
The procedure for conducting the tea bag method is as follows:
- Place your hand or leg on a flat surface and while on it, clip the broken nail very close to your fingertip.
- Use a gentle nail file and file off all the snags on the nail carefully
- Carefully trim a tea bag to a small sizeable patch which can cover the break-in in the nail
- Using clear nail polish, paint the broken nail evenly
- Take the trimmed tea bag and carefully place it over the polished broken nail
- After setting the trimmed tea bag over the nail, give it some time to dry up
- Once dried up, take the nail polish and apply two or more layers of the clear nail polish on top of the dried, broken nail with tea bags
- After the clear polish has dried up, apply colored nail polish to cover-up the tea bag
Following the above steps helps in nail reconstruction.
Disclaimer: You need to do a medical check-up first before using glue for nail reconstruction.
Some glues contain chemicals which are can trigger skin allergies. Before using glue for nail reconstruction, you have to know if your skin is compatible with the glue.
Artificial nails can also be used for nail reconstruction.
The only thing to do is to buy the artificial nails and carefully attach them over the damaged nail using a fixing gel or glue. Then, you apply colored nail polish, giving it a new healthy look.
Gel Silk Nails
This method is ideal especially for broken nails, be it fingernails or toenails. For this technique, you only need a silk wrap. In most cases, silk wrap functions as a band-aid to help the nail stick together.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Take the silk wrap and wrap your broken nail with it
- Immediately after wrapping the nail, apply gel nail polish on top of the silk wrap to strengthen the bandage and to protect the nail
By following the simple steps, the broken nail will start to grow again. But this time around, it will grow stronger and more resistant to any injuries.
Cut your Nails Short
Keeping your nails short is one way of reducing instances of hurting your nails.
For example, cramped shoes can harm long toenails. It will fold the nails which eventually lead to nail breakage.
Similarly, washing the dishes can also damage your fingernails.
Hence, keeping short nails is also a way of maintaining hygiene.
Manage your nails by using nail shaping tools like crystal files.
How to Prevent Nail Injuries
There are several ways of taking care of your nails and preventing them from injuries.
Some of these ways include:
- Keeping your nails shorter to avoid injuring them or causing them to snag on objects
- Observing a nutritious diet like eating whole grains, and liver to ensure that your nails are strong and resistant to injuries
- Always wear gloves when carrying out tasks like cleaning or gardening
- Always applying hand cream every time you are done doing chores. Hand creams moisturize your nails. This prevents dryness and cracking
- Be extra cautious when handling sharp objects or machinery
Damaged or broken nails are associated with many disadvantages. They can lower your self-esteem, leading to severe illnesses which sometimes result in surgeries and many more.
Keep your nails healthy and active by avoiding activities that can hurt your nails.
Always immediately treat your nails once you see unusual signs. Healthy nails are a mark of beauty and health. Treat them right.
Observe safety precautions at all times. This will surely guarantee healthy and strong nails.