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Toenail reconstruction is a procedure which is used in podiatry to create a new toenail if the original nail is damaged or found unsightly.
What is toenail reconstruction?
Toenail reconstruction is the restoration of a previously damaged nail by a podiatrist for cosmetic purposes. 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 UV light is focused in order to harden the gel. The gel used in toenail reconstruction is different to that used to create acrylic nails.
Who could benefit from toenail reconstruction?
Many different groups of people can benefit from toenail reconstruction including patients suffering from the following;
- Fungal nails
- Thick and discoloured nails
- Cracked nails
- Reduced nails following trauma
- Nails with an abnormal shape or growth
- Discoloured nails
- Psoriatic nails
- Beau's lines
Nail reconstruction can be applied onto those who have had their entire nail removed permanently (a total nail avulsion), but it is unlikely the nail will stay in situ longer than a day. This is due to the natural oils secreted, and skin shedding process of the skin, therefore the resin is not able to bind to skin for an extended length of time. In this case it can be advised to use a hypoallergenic nail glue to glue the nail back to the nail bed for a temporary period of time.
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 lose nail and reducing the thickness if needed. The surface of the nail filed to produce a rough exterior.
2nd step - The podiatrist cleans the nail 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 surface, this helps the resin bind to the nail plate.
4th step - A resin is applied in liquid form onto the surface of the natural nail/nail bed. The gel is applied in layers using UV light to harden the gel after each layer.
5th step - Once the nail is formed into an appropriate thickness, it is shaped and smoothed over and in some cases a layer of gloss is applied.
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
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The following images are before and after photographs of customers who have been through the toenail reconstruction treatment.
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