File any sharp edges smooth or trim the nail.
This will help prevent catching the nail and tearing it more.
off the detached part of a large tear or leave the nail alone.
Cover the nail with tape or an adhesive
bandage until the nail has grown out enough to protect the finger or toe.
If you trim off the detached nail, you will have less worry about
the nail catching and tearing.
If you leave the detached nail in
place, it will eventually fall off when the new nail grows in.
Use scissors to remove the detached part of the
nail if the nail is partly attached.
Soak your finger or toe in
cold water for 20 minutes after trimming the nail.
antibiotic ointment, such as Bacitracin, and cover the area with a nonstick
To prevent infection:
Soak your foot or hand in a solution of 1 tsp (5
g) of salt dissolved in 4 cups (1 L) warm water for 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times
each day, for the next 3 days. Reapply an antibiotic ointment, and cover with a
fresh adhesive bandage.
Keep the nail bed
clean and covered with antibiotic ointment and an adhesive bandage until the
nail bed is firm or the nail has grown back. Apply a new adhesive bandage
whenever it gets wet.
Watch for signs of infection such as
increasing heat, redness, pain, tenderness, swelling, or pus.
Remove an artificial nail if it separates from the nail
bed. If you leave it on, the long, artificial nail can tear the nail
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.