In the case of a nail break, the edge of the nail cuts into the skin. It is most common to get a nail break in the big toe. Nail cracks are often caused by tight shoes or incorrectly cut nails. You can relieve and prevent nail breakage yourself.

Symptoms of nail breakage

In the event of a nail break, the skin at the nail edge may become sore, swollen and reddened. There may also be fluid.

When the nail cuts into the skin, bacteria can penetrate and cause an infection. Then it is formed and you can have a throbbing pain.

Treatment of nail breakage

You can start by soaking your nail in lukewarm water for a while. Then try to gently file on the piece of nail that presses against the skin so that it becomes less sharp.

If possible, tuck a small piece of compress, moistened with water, under the nail edge to relieve pressure. Bath the nail with water several times a day.

When you sleep, you can tuck a small piece of compress under the nail and put a compress moistened with water on top. In order for the compress to remain on one foot, you can pull on a sock on the foot and sleep with it.

To protect a toe with nail penetration as you go, you can apply a dressing with a compress and self-adhesive gauze.

In isolated cases with recurrent nail break, all or part of the nail can be removed.

Prevent trouble

To reduce the risk of nail breakage, you should use shoes that are roomy and socks that you can touch your toes in.

Cut the nail straight over and not too short. The corner of the nail should be outside the nail bed and not cut round. It is good to cut your nails with straight nail scissors. If the nail edges feel sharp, you can round them with a nail file.

If you have had nail breakage before and want to prevent it from coming back, you can try squeezing a small piece of cotton under the nail on the side where you usually have trouble. The nail is then forced to grow straight. The cotton can sit for a few days. Then change to pure cotton. Treat for about a month.

If you need help with taking care of your feet, you can contact a pediatrician.

When should I seek care?

Contact a health care center if any of the following is true of you:

  • You get deformity and pain. 
  • The nail penetration does not get better even though you have tried to relieve it yourself.

Ehtisham Nadeem

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