Healing a Split Fingernail

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Fingers are in constant use, which makes having a split fingernail more than just unsightly. It can be painful and even result in infection. The nail itself cannot be healed, meaning the goal is to protect the nail bed and reduce pain or the risk of infection until the nail grows out. The technique can be used for a minor tear where you want to salvage the nail, or a deeper split that could expose the nail bed.

Clip away sharp or snagged edges at the site of the nail split. Reshape the edge of the split nail with the clippers so the nail won't catch and tear further.

Smooth the nail edge gently with an emery board or nail file. Shape the nail edge so it is as even as possible.

Apply a small bead of super glue directly to the nail, on top of the split. Use an orange stick to push the glue into the split area and even it out. An orange stick is a wood stick with a rounded point at one end and a curved angle at the other. These are sold almost anywhere nail-care supplies are found.

Allow the glue to dry, then buff the area with the nail buffer to smooth out the area. Apply a second layer of glue if the split is large and needs more.

Trim a small section of paper from a tea bag or silk nail wrap. The paper should cover the split and extend slightly beyond it on all sides. If the split is at the end of the nail, leave enough paper to wrap over the end of the nail to cover the split completely.

Brush on a layer of clear nail polish or silk fiber polish to the area of the split. Make sure the polish covers the entire area where the paper will be placed. Push the tea bag paper or silk wrap into the wet polish with the orange stick. Press all the corners and edges of the paper or wrap down into the polish.

Apply another coat of polish to the entire nail. Allow to dry and add a second coat.

File the nail as it grows out. Continue to apply clear or fiber polish as needed to keep the paper adhered to the nail until the nail grows past the split.

Add calcium and vitamins to your diet and adopt a healthy eating plan to improve nail growth and assist in healing the split faster.

Keep nails trimmed and moisturized with a protein-based lotion or nail treatment to improve nail strength and growth.