What is it?
- Toenail Reconstruction is a cosmetic Podiatry procedure, where a Prosthetic material is custom moulded to a damaged toe nail to create a new nail, where the nail was missing before.
- This is not a permanent solution, as the nail will continue to grow underneath.
- The length of time reconstruction lasts varies from person to person.
- The prosthetic nail can last between 4-8 weeks, after which it can be reapplied if desired or removed altogether.
How is Toenail Reconstruction different to gel nails in a salon?
- The process may look similar – but is very different.
- Toenail Reconstruction is performed on damaged nails only E.G. Thick/Fungal/Incomplete nails.
- Gel nails in a beauty salon can be applied to healthy, complete nails only.
- Toenail Reconstruction can only be carried out by a registered Podiatrist.
- Toenail Reconstruction is not acrylic or gel, it’s designed to look and feel like natural nail.
- The prosthetic nail is flexible, unlike nails done in salons which are hard and unforgiving.
- Prosthetic nails need to be flexible to allow the toenail to move naturally with the toe during walking, this is very important to avoid trauma to the natural nail and toe itself, it also makes it last longer.
- Gel or acrylic nails done in salons damage the natural nails beneath, and can trap bacteria and fungus between the artificial and natural nail, causing it to grow undetected whilst wearing the nails.
- Toenail Reconstruction will NOT damage the natural nail underneath or restrict growth. It contains Piroctone Olamine and Colloidal micro silver which are anti mycotic agents, meaning the prosthetic nail will not cure a fungal nail, but will discourage further fungal growth.
Who is Toenail Reconstruction suitable for?
- Thick or damaged nails
- Discoloured nails
- Men and women
- Cracked nails
- Nails with vertical splits
- Lifted nails
- Fungal nails
- Patients with Psoriasis affecting their nails (Psoriatic nails)
- Partial nails or nail spikes that have been left after nail surgery.
What happens during a Toenail Reconstruction?
- Firstly the nail is reduced down to remove any loose fragments and reduce any thickening.
- Then the nail is cleaned to remove any oil and nail dust, and is disinfected.
- A bonding solution is applied to enhance adherence to the nail plate.
- The Podiatrist then applies the formula in layers, until the desired shape/look/thickness is achieved. Each layer is cured/set under UV light.
- Top coat is then applied to protect the formula and provide extra shine.
- The reconstructed nail can then be treated the same as a natural nail. It can be painted with nail polish if desired, and removed only with ACETONE FREE nail polish remover, as acetone will damage to top layer of the prosthetic.
After care Advise
To prevent premature lifting of the nail, it is advisable to avoid narrow or pointy shoes which will cause pressure to the nail area. Creams and lotions should be avoided around the nail area. Avoid extended exposure to water such as Jacuzzi’s/ hot tubs. The nail can be filed as normal with an emery board if required, but avoid pulling the nail and too much tampering or interference with the nail.
This procedure is not ideal for those patients who have had their full nail removed, it can be performed but it is only likely to last a day or two. Some patients are happy with this for a special occasion e.g. wedding. There needs to be some natural nail as an anchor point for the prosthetic to attach to in order for it to last, if not then the nail is being applied to the skin only. Skin secretes oil and sheds constantly, this means the nail will not bond with the skin as it would to the natural nail.
Prices are quoted on an individual basis, as each patients nail is different. Price depends on how much time is required to prepare the nail bed and perform the reconstruction of one or numerous nails.
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