Toenail reconstruction

Toenail reconstruction

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Toenail reconstruction is a cosmetic procedure. Toenail reconstruction is performed by a podiatrist using a specialist gel that is layered on top of unsightly or misshapen nails so that the nail is more aesthetically pleasing.

How long will the new nail last for?

Nail reconstruction is not a permanent solution. The length of time that the nail reconstruction lasts will vary from person to person. The new nail will generally last between 4 and 8 weeks after which another nail can be re-applied at a later date.

How is toenail reconstruction different to gel nails in a salon?

Toenail reconstruction is a similar process to gel nails in the way that a gel is layered and then hardened using a UV light. The product used for toenail reconstruction however is very different, and this is where the similarities end. The solution is different to gel nails carried out by beauticians in salons for the following reasons:

  • The nail created under toenail reconstruction is described as a prosthetic, it is not an acrylic nail, instead it is designed to look and feel exactly the same as a natural nail.
  • Toenail reconstruction uses a specialised gel that is flexible, whereas the gel used in salons for fingernails is hard. The gel needs to be flexible to allow the toenail to move with the natural movements of the toe, this is very important as the nail will then last longer
  • Nail reconstruction is performed by a registered podiatrist
  • The nail that is reconstructed will not damage the natural nail or restrict growth, this means that the natural nail is able to grow beneath the prosthetic


What happens during toenail reconstruction?

  • Firstly, the nail is reduced with a file to remove any loose fragments and reduce any thickening.
  • The toenail is cleaned to remove oil and disinfected.
  • A solution is applied to the nail plate to dehydrate the nail, enhancing the bonding of the gel to the nail plate.
  • The podiatrist will then apply the gel in layers; each layer is cured under a UV light. As soon as the desired look and thickness has been achieved the nail is then shaped and buffed smooth.

The reconstructed toenail may be treated in the same way as you would treat a natural nail, this means that you can apply nail varnish and use a nail varnish remover (one that contains no acetone).

Who is toenail reconstruction suitable for?

Toenail reconstruction is suitable for:

  • Thick nails
  • Men and women
  • Nail tufts or spikes that have been left after nail surgery
  • Discoloured nails
  • Cracked nails
  • Lifted nails
  • Fungal nails
  • Traumatised nails
  • Psoriatic nails
  • Beaus lines

It is rather pointless for those who have had their entire nail removed permanently (a total nail avulsion) to have nail reconstruction as it is unlikely that the nail last longer than a day.


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