Medical Toenail Reconstruction

Home General Podiatry & Chiropody Medical Toenail Reconstruction

Toenail reconstruction is a popular cosmetic procedure, performed by a podiatrist, to create a new toenail if the original nail is damaged or found unsightly. Damage can occur as a result of trauma, fungal infection, after having nail surgery or other medical conditions.

The process of toenail reconstruction involves the application of layers of a special gel to the damaged nail/portion of the nail bed, onto which LED light is focused in order to harden the gel. The gel used in toenail reconstruction is different to that used to create acrylic nails.

The product used is an extremely elastic gel (one component Acrylester resin) which sets when exposed to LED light. The product we use was developed specifically for corrective and restorative toe nail treatments. The gel resin has the ability to bond to a surface, add strength and harden with a glossy finish, whilst at the same time adapting to the movements of the toe due to its flexibility. Once the gel is applied and curded it will essentially look like and cut like a regular toe nail. It is an ideal solution for those clients who are looking for a cosmetically pleasing look and at the same helping stopping the snagging of the nail and possible infection. It may need reapplying every 4-6 weeks until the nail is fully grown.

Before Treatment
Prepared Nail
Finished nail
Nail polish can be applied by patient after treatment
What does toenail reconstruction involve?

The process of toenail reconstruction is as follows:

1st step – The nail is prepared by the podiatrist by removing any loose fragments of nail and reducing the thickness if needed. The surface of the nail filed to produce a rough exterior.

2nd step – The nail is cleaned removing any dirt or oil and disinfecting the area.

3rd step – A product is applied to the surface of the nail to dehydrate the nail, enhancing the bonding of the resin to the nail plate

4th step – A resin is applied in liquid form onto the surface of the natural nail/nail bed in layers, curing each layer under a LED light to harden the gel after each layer.

5th step – Once the nail is formed into an appropriate thickness and look, the nail is then shaped and smoothed over to look as natural as possible

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

Who could benefit from toenail reconstruction?

Many different groups of people can benefit from toenail reconstruction including patients suffering from the following;

  • Fungal nails
  • Nail tufts or spikes that have been left after nail surgery
  • Thick and discoloured nails
  • Cracked/ split nails
  • Lifted nails
  • Damaged nails following trauma
  • Nails with an abnormal shape or growth
  • Discoloured nails
  • Psoriatic nails
  • Beau’s lines
What are the benefits or toenail reconstruction?

Those thinking of receiving toenail construction can benefit from the following factors;

  • The reconstructed nail looks and feels like a natural nail
  • Improves confidence and morale
  • The new nail is flexible so can move naturally as the toe moves
  • The gel contains no aggressive chemicals
  • The natural nail and nail bed remains undamaged
  • The new nail can have polished applied as a natural nail
  • The new nail can be treated in exactly the same way as the previous natural nail
  • No odour, no discolouration- once a resin has been cured for about two minutes under a UV-A light, the material is completely cured and will not change. No primer/chemical activator- LCN gels use no aggressive acidic primers which damage the natural nail plate.
  • No damage is done to your nail bed; your toenail will continue to grow. 
  • Non Porous- neither moisture or air can penetrate the material and, therefore fungal nails can be covered with the gels helping prevention of further spread or development of the infection.
How long will the new nail last for?

Nail reconstruction is not a permanent solution. The exact length of time it lasts varies depending on the individual. The new nail will generally last between 4 and 8 weeks after which another nail can be reapplied.

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

The application process and products we have chosen to use have been used for cosmetic reconstruction of nails for over 20 years. 

Toenail reconstruction is a similar process to gel nails in the way that a gel is layered and then hardened using UV lighting. 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, rather than an acrylic nail, which 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
  • Critically, the reconstructed nail will not damage your underlying natural nail, or restrict its growth. Your natural nail will continue to grow normally beneath the prosthetic. This is often not the case when you have acrylic nails. In addition, while any salon can apply acrylic nails, only a trained podiatrist is able to complete a toenail reconstruction.

No matter how your toenail became problematic, maybe a sports injury or other trauma, fungal nail or ingrown toenail problems or if you just have irregular shaped toenails try out a toenail reconstruction and experience the confidence boost you deserve. 

With our help you can now walk proudly with your toes on show instead of hiding them away. 

Rachael Meecham (nee Hunter)

Rachael Meecham (nee Hunter)

Podiatrist
Rachael Meecham (nee Hunter)
Alexandria Moore

Alexandria Moore

Podiatrist
Alexandria Moore