A popular treatment for people with unsightly nails, toenail reconstruction is a straightforward cosmetic procedure, performed by a podiatrist. The technique uses a specialist gel, layered over the existing nail where it is misshapen or unsightly, in order to build a nail that’s more pleasing aesthetically.

How Long Do Toenail Reconstructions Last?

While a toenail reconstruction will last you a good while, it’s not a permanent solution. Your nail will grow, and the reconstruction will need to be reapplied. The exact length of time it lasts varies depending on the individual. Generally speaking though, you can expect your nail reconstruction to last you four to eight weeks. 

What’s The Difference Between A Toenail Reconstruction And Gel Nails?

If you’ve ever been to a nail salon for gel nails, you’ll find the toenail reconstruction process relatively similar. The gel is layered and hardened under UV lighting in much the same way. The gel that is used for reconstruction is very different, however, to that which is used for acrylic nails. 

Despite the similarity in the use of gel, the two procedures are vastly different in all other respects. When you get a toenail reconstruction you are receiving a prosthetic, rather than a simple acrylic nail. It’s not designed to augment the appearance of your nails, but to look and feel as much like a natural nail as possible. 

Acrylic nails are created using a hard gel. Your toenail reconstruction, on the other hand, will be crafted from a flexible gel that allows your toenail to naturally move with your toe. This is vital, not only for creating the appearance of a natural nail, but also for the longevity of your reconstruction.

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.

Who Can Get A Toenail Reconstruction?

Toenail reconstruction is a suitable treatment for a number of nail issues, including:

  • Thick nails
  • Nail spikes or tufts left following nail surgery
  • Cracked nails
  • Discoloured nails
  • Fungal nails
  • Lifted nails
  • Psoriatic nails
  • Traumatised nails
  • Beaus lines

There are certain situations where a toenail reconstruction isn’t possible, or would only last a short period of time. If you’ve had your entire nail permanently removed through a total nail avulsion, a nail reconstruction is possible, but is unlikely to last more than a day.

In this situation – or any in which the resin would need to be applied directly to your skin, rather than the nail, any reconstruction will be short-lived. This is because skin naturally sheds while secreting natural oils. There’s no way for the resin to bond as a result. 

What To Expect During A Toenail Reconstruction…

The toenail reconstruction procedure is very straightforward. Initially, your nail will be reduced to remove any thickening and smooth out any loose elements. This is done with a nail file. Next, your toenail will be cleaned to ensure it’s disinfected and any oil has been removed. 

A solution will then be applied to your nail plate. This dehydrates your nail and enhances the bonding of the gel to your nail plate.

Finally, your podiatrist will layer on the gel to create your nail reconstruction. Each layer of gel will be cured beneath a UV light. Once they’ve achieved the look and thickness you want, they will shape the new nail and buff it smooth. 

Once complete you can treat your reconstructed toenail as you would any other, including applying nail varnish. 

If you’d like more information about toenail reconstruction give us a call, or book an appointment…