What is toenail reconstruction?
Toenail reconstruction is a cosmetic as well as medical procedure. Toenail reconstruction is performed by a podiatrist using a specialist gel that is layered either directly onto the nail bed if no nail is present (due to trauma or surgery) so that a brand new nail is created, or, 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 6 weeks after which another nail will need to be re-filled or re-applied.
How is toenail reconstruction different to gel nails in a salon?
Toenail reconstruction is a very similar process to gel nails in the way that a gel is layered and then hardened using a UV light. Toenail reconstruction however is very different, and this is where the similarities end. Toenail Reconstruction 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 and will not 'lift'
- The gel used has antifungal properties; meaning that any nails which have a fungal infection will be treated whilst wearing the nail
- Nail reconstruction is performed by a university trained podiatrist
- The gel we use is suitable for those who have no nail available and diabetics
- The nail that is reconstructed will not damage the natural nail or restrict growth, this means that the natural nail is able to grow un affected
What happens during toenail reconstruction?
- If you have a nail the podiatrist will begin by reducing the nail and removing as much of the diseased nail as possible. The nail is then roughened with the file. If there is no nail available the podiatrist will begin at stage 2.
- The toenail is cleaned to remove oil and disinfected
- A solution containing an antifungal is applied to the nail plate/nail bed to enhance the bonding of the gel
- The podiatrist will then apply the gel in layers, with each layer being hardened under a UV light. As soon as the desired look and thickness has been achieved the nail is then filed and buffed smooth
- Finally, if desired, a high gloss layer can be applied
A reconstructed toenail may be treated in exactly the same way as you would treat a normal nail, this means that if you wish to you can apply nail varnish and use a nail varnish remover.
Who is toenail reconstruction suitable for?
Toe nail reconstruction is suitable for:
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- Thick nails
- Men and women
- Nail tufts or spikes that have been left after nail surgery
- Discoloured nails
- Fungal nails
- Traumatised nails
- Psoriatic nails
- People with no nail at all