Large crack down the middle of nail?


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Jan 11, 2003
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:| Please help, my sister has a large crack down the middle of her nail from the cuticle growing towards the free edge. She has worn acrylic nails for a few years and goes to local salon who do NOT know what the cause is. I am quite a new nail tech but it looks to me that she has damaged her matrix in some way and therefore it keeps growing with this unsightly crack. Her nail salon will not acrylic over the top of it, although they acrylic around the problem area. I have advised her to go to the docs and get it checked. Is there anything else that she could be doing? Should she prevent from having this nail extended? Any comments/advice are welcomed! Thankyou
Please help, my sister has a large crack down the middle of her nail
Hi, as a novice tech myself I'm a bit wary about offering up any advice on this but I do feel your sister should see her Dr about this problem. He may recommmend she see a Chiropodist/Podiatrist as they probably will know more about nails than he. I think the salon she uses are trying to protect themselves by avoiding the crack on the nail but I feel that they are doing her no favours by continuing to extend her nail.Firstly her nail should be kept short as extra length would put unnecessary pressure on the nail.If the crack has been caused by trauma she can have an overlay on it.It should firstly be sanitised, make sure the area is completely dry so as not to trap moisture/bacteria and then it should be sealed with nail glue (cyno acrylate)it can then be overlayed but not extended.An overlay will in fact help the crack to grow out while protecting from further trauma but no nail polish should be used because of the darkness/bacteria thing. I hope this is of some small help,but I would seek medical advice if I were you.Good Luck.
You're right in your observation that the matrix may be damaged.
If the plate is groeing our with the crack in it... then that portion of the matrix is not producing nail plate cells.
This situtation can be from trauma... or even hereditary... But as was perviously mentioned... seek Dr's written OK before enhancing... otherwise you could be looking at a liable issue.

Most Derms will encourage an overlay once they have properly diagnosed the situation... The overlay will help keep the plate together.

Good luck!
Thankyou for your replies......I also posted this problem on the yahoo groups nail tech board. We found the answer! So, here is what reply we got, it may help someone else:-

If the split is just off center of the nail plate and is going from
cuticle towards free edge with small 'feathery' cracks projecting
towards the side walls it sounds as if she may have a condition
called 'Median Nail Dystrophy'
In advanced cases the split may expose the nail bed below.This
condition was first identified in 1928 and is similar to Habit
Tic.Most research points to a nervous habit as being the main cause
although can be caused by other types of trauma. Once it appears it
can take many months or even years for the nail to return to normal.
In many cases it can leave a ridge.

If your sister is not a 'picker' it may be a good idea for her to
visit her gp to rule out other causes . As for treatment . If the
nail bed is NOT exposed and the condition not adavnced then you
should be ok to apply a gel or acrylic overlay. If conditon is
advanced it is usually recomended to use cuticle oil daily along
with massage to help promote a healthy nail growth

I have one client with this condition in a mild form and although it
has not improved it has not got worse. I recently had a new client
come to me with it quite badly split and it was actually weeping . I
sent her to her GP and he said that there was nothing wrong with the

Hope this has helped you
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