How to Fix a Split Toenail

Updated February 21, 2017

A split toenail can be painful and can take a long time to heal if not treated properly. Splits occur for several reasons including impact or a dry nail. If they are left untreated, they can catch on something and tear or continue to split as the nail grows. With a little maintenance and a few tools, you can put a patch over the split that will prevent it from cracking or from catching on something as it grows out.

Pour rubbing alcohol on the a cotton ball and clean the toenail with it. This will remove any oily residue and will ensure that the nail is dry.

Apply the UV gel with the brush or applicator head. Be sure you spread the gel evenly over the entire toenail, but avoid putting it on the cuticle. Allow it to cure according to package directions.

Cut the fibre paper to the shape of your toenail and place it over the gel-covered nail. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles by placing a piece of cellophane over top and smoothing it with your fingers. Allow the gel to dry.

Apply another thin layer of gel to the toenail and allow it to dry. Buff the nail with a nail buffer and groom your nails as usual. You can apply nail polish on top of the patch if desired.

Trim the nail regularly to keep it from splitting again. This is particularly important on toenails, which can snag easily in socks or shoes and often receive impact if you stub your toe. The nail patch will grow out with the rest of your nail.


Prevent splits by keeping your toenails conditioned, short and smooth.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball
  • UV gel
  • Fibre paper
  • Scissors
  • Cellophane
  • Nail buffer
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About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.