Cracked Toe Nail? How Did That Happen?

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Have you got a cracked toenail and now you’re dreading the thought of having to wear sandals as the weather warms up? Or perhaps you’re desperate for a pedicure, but are far too embarrassed to reveal your cracked toenail to your nail technician?

Well, it may help you feel a bit less anxious to know that this is a more common problem than you might think. So, do you want to know why is my toenail cracked?

Then read on, because in this article, we’re going to tell you why it probably happened, and what you can do about it.


Why is My Toenail Cracked?

Split and cracked toenails (and fingernails) are quite a common issue, and not only can they be unsightly, but they can also cause you to have a lot of pain. This is especially true if you have to wear hard shoes all day at work, for example.

Split and cracked toenails (and fingernails) are quite a common issue, and there can be a few reasons behind why that may be the case.

If the crack runs the length of the toenail, this can be even more problematic. But if you’re wondering why this has happened in the first place, there can be a few reasons behind this issue with the end of your tootsie.

For instance, if you’ve had a recent physical injury, like stubbing your toe, having something heavy drop on it, or some other kind of accident or trauma, then this can cause your toenail to crack or split from the nail bed.

It could also be the case that you spend a lot of time with your feet submerged in water, which can cause your toenails to become weak and crack easily.

Or perhaps you’ve used harsh chemical products on your toenails like acetone nail polish remover, which contains acetone that strips the nail of its natural oils.

Some medical conditions will also cause toenails to crack and split. For example, sufferers of psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and those with thyroid issues are prone to have toenails that can become damaged in this way.

Other conditions that can cause cracked toenails include vitamin deficiencies from having a poor diet and a weakened immune system, which can make your toenails weak and brittle.

A lack of iron in the diet is a well-known cause of this occurrence.

And then there are fungal infections. These are usually easy to diagnose, because of the thickening and discoloration of the toenail, which will happen before it starts to crack and split.

How Do I Fix My Cracked Toenail?

Basically, the only real way to really fix a crack or split toenail is to let it grow out.

How long that will take depends on how fast your toenails grow. On average, this process takes about 18 months, because your toenails grow much slower than your fingernails.

Basically, the only real way to really fix a crack or split toenail is to let it grow out. How long that will take depends on how fast your toenails grow. On average, this process takes about 18 months.

However, there are a few things that you can do to ‘fix’ your toenail in place until it grows out fully. These fixes will stop any more damage being caused to the toenail while you wait for it to grow out.

Beware though: only use these fixes if your toenail crack is superficial, and hasn’t extended down into the nail bed.

If this is the case, then your best bet is to see your doctor, who will advise you on the appropriate treatment. However, if your toenail crack isn’t extremely painful or too severe, then here are three tricks to help you remedy the situation.

1. Scotch (Tape, That Is)

If the crack in your toenail is small, then you can apply some clear tape to the nail to prevent it from getting snagged on socks and ripping further, for example.

Simply cut off a portion and apply it to your nail, covering the split, and then trimming off any excess with toenail clippers. Repeat as necessary, such as after a bath or shower.

2. File Away

If the toenail crack is above the nail bed, then you can just file the toenail down. Use a clean file and file down to just under the base of the crack.

You should soak your feet in warm water for at least 10 minutes before trying this method, because filing a dry toenail can make the split even worse.

3. Have a Cuppa

Again, if the toenail crack is above the nail bed, you can use a teabag and nail hardener to fix the nail into place. This works similar to silk wrap nails, but uses a tea bag.

All you need to do is cut off a small section of the tea bag, and apply No products found.. Apply the treatment and then with the tea bag, pressing down to smooth it out.

Trim down the tea bag to fit your nail shape, then gently file it down once dry to blend in with your toenail, before applying another coat of the 7-In-1 Elixir.

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This will help to restore the nail, because its formula of oils, vitamins, and minerals will work to make your toenail harder, smoother, and healthier.

And its intensive hydrating formula will provide maximum shine.

The elixir is also free from formaldehyde, PHP, toluene, camphor, parabens, and other toxic chemical irritants that are found in most nail polishes. Plus, it’s cruelty-free and 100% vegan.

After The Crack

Once your toenail has grown out enough so that the crack is above the nail bed, your priority should be to trim it as soon as possible, similar to what you would do with toenail fungus. You can do this by using a pair of clean nail scissors or clippers to carefully cut away the nail to just under where the split occurred.

Finally, file your down nail in one direction only, so that you avoid causing any new nail splits or snags.

Now that you know why your toenail cracked and what to do about it, you can enjoy showing off your feet without any further embarrassment.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).