Broken Nail Under Acrylic: The 3-Phase Guide

If you have struggled with a nail injury, you will know the pain, discomfort, and reduced mobility it can bring to your life. That said, broken nails don’t have to cause a compromise to your daily routine.

So, what should you do when having a broken nail under acrylic?

The first step is to remove your nails using disinfectant, a soaking container and tweezers. Then, proceed to address the pain and later on apply solutions for healing. Seek medical help if these don’t help. Plus, keep an eye on the growth rate of your new nail.

However, these are just the basic aspects of dealing with a broken nail. Below, we have a comprehensive guide that we know you will find useful.

Let us dive right into it!

Causes of Broken Nail Under Acrylic

Similar to many other people out there today, you are probably wondering what are the main causes of cracked nails under acrylic. It can be due to a number of causes, and we have outlined some of the popular causes of damaged nails under acrylic

Removing the Nails Incorrectly

Trying to detach the nail using force can dislodge the nail from the edges or nail bed, and cause pain. You have to be careful to avoid causing damage to the structure of the nail. We recommend that you learn about how to remove acrylic nail at home for your convenience.

Long Term Use

Take a break from using acrylic nails regularly. The main reason is because the nails need time to rejuvenate and grow back stronger. The nail also consists of various layers of keratin, which are prone to wear and tear. Using such products on a regular basis can damage the keratin. Its the main long term acrylic nail effect.

Poorly Fitted Acrylics

Poor-fitting of these nail embellishments can be a leading cause of cracked nails. A poorly fitted acrylic leaves pockets of space in between the nail and acrylic. It can increase the chances of bacteria or fungus getting through to the nail.

Also, poorly fitted acrylics can lead to minor trauma around the nails. These can even include the harmless scraping of the nail bed, causing the nail to separate from the nail bed. Thus, its important to learn about how to fit acrylic nail tips.

Nail snag

real nail broke under acrylic

A snagged acrylic nail occurs when you drag your acrylic nails on firm surfaces such as the car door, your clothes, and more. The result is the force from the nail snag might dislodge the nail, which can lead to breakage, or the penetration of fungus.


Are you still wondering what causes broken and brittle nails? Using a file aggressively on your nail can lead to excessive thinning of the nail, which will make it prone to breakage. Plus, you need the right file for acrylic nails.

Problems Associated with Broken Nails Under Acrylic

Now, do you know what caused the breakage of your nail? If so, move on to learn about some of the challenges it might present to your life. It’s good to learn about these challenges so that you can be cautious next time.

The common ones include:


The first sign of a broken nail should be pain, regardless of whether its a nail chip, or damage to the nail bed. The broken acrylic nail pain can range in between mild to intense. For the small nail breakage issues, you should be able to bear some of the pain.


The presence of blood or pus under acrylic nails could be signs of extensive damage. If it persists even after cleaning and disinfecting the nail, you have to visit a doctor. Usually, the blood and pus rate declines over time as the wound heals.

Compromises Hand Mobility

The lack of mobility means that you can no longer use your finger as before, usually because of pain, or to avoid further damaging the nail bed. The pain can make it challenging to engage in typing, cooking, washing, and more.

3 Phases of How To Deal With A Broken Nail Under Acrylic

broken nail bed under acrylic nails

A broken nail is an issue that can compromise your ability to daily obligations. So you have to learn how to deal with it, especially if you like using any type of artificial nails such as acrylics. Even if prevention is the BEST option in such cases, having a cure can also be a useful solution.

Let us look at way you can deal with how to deal with acrylic nails at home:

Phase 1: How to Get Acrylic off A Broken Nail

The first important step is to learn about removing acrylic from the nail. You may have to be careful with this process to avoid causing further damage to the nail bed.

 Below are the common products you may need for this process:

Products You Need to Take the Acrylic Off the Broken Nail

Removing your acrylic nails requires an informed approach to ensure the best results. This process includes using the right techniques and tools to help remove the acrylic, especially if it’s painful. The following are the items you will need:

  • Disinfectant – for cleaning the affected area

Our Recommended Disinfectant:  Mia Secret Professional Nail Antiseptic

  •  Soaking container – where you will dip the your finger

Our Recommended Soaking container: Rolabling 2 PCS Soaking Soak Bowl

  • Tweezers/nail clippers/trimmer – which you will use to cut and detach the nail

Our Recommended Tweezers and Clippers: Slant Tweezers – TweezerGuru & FIXBODY Nail Clipper Set

The Steps

Do you have the above tools with you? The next step is to use this simple 4 step guide to remove the acrylic from your damaged nail:

1. Disinfect

The first step in how to disinfect a broken nail affected area is by using a clean piece of cloth or cotton wool. It’s also an important resource when you want to clean real nails under acrylic.

2. Clip off the Acrylic nails

Proceed to clip acrylic nails. Use the trimmer by placing it on the remaining section of the nail, then clip or cut it off. You will do this to make it easy to remove the broken nail.

3. Soak off

You have two options when it comes to how to soak off broken acrylic nails. The first step is to wrap each fingertip in foil and use a clean cloth soaked in acetone or warm water (the best approach).

The other solution is that you can also soak your fingers in a bowl of acetone. However, be careful with acetone solution, especially if you have extremely dry nails.

4. Gently Pry it Off From the Edges

Check if the nails have gone soft, and you should find them easy to pry out using tweezers. If you come across any resistance, avoid yanking the nail and soak it in some acetone for some more minutes. Also, remember to use clean tools to pry off the acrylic nail.

Phase 2: How to Stop Broken Nail Pain and Bleeding

After removing the acrylic, your broken nail should be exposed, and this can be accompanied by some issues. These might include pain, and the presence of pus or blood.

However, worry not – because we have got you covered. Below are the products you need for broken nail pain relief:

Products You Need to Relieve the Pain from The Broken Nail

The pain associated with broken nails can sometimes be unbearable, mostly if the damage was extensive. Below are the products you can use to relieve broken nail pain:

  • Ice – a pack of ice cubes to place on the wound

Our Recommended Tweezers and Clippers: Slant Tweezers – TweezerGuru & FIXBODY Nail Clipper Set

  • Painkillers and antibiotics – for the pain and to help relieve the effects of pus

Our Recommended Product: Tylenol Extra Strength Caplets and Neosporin First Aid Antibiotic Ointment with Bacitracin

The Steps

Getting the above products should be easy because you don’t need any prescriptions or medical assistance. Below are the steps to help relieve the pain or bleeding:

1. Try to Drain Blood or Pus from the Nail

If the broken nail has developed into a wound or is just fresh from breaking, try to drain any pus and blood. You can do this by applying some slight pressure on the remaining part of the nail.

2. Trim and Tape

Get a file. Use it to thin any edges of the remaining nail, and then tape it using a disinfected bandage. Also, apply some antibiotic to the bandage before setting it on the broken nail. It will help stop the bleeding. Trimming the nail also helps reduce any likelihood of snagging it on firm surfaces.

3. Apply Ice or Try Painkillers

Ice helps reduce the pain and throbbing associated with the broken nail under acrylic. You can use regular ice cubes from your refrigerator, wrapped in a bandage. Finally, you can also use painkillers along with the ice if you feel the pain is still intense.

Phase 3: How to Heal Broken Nail Under Acrylic?

You should be feeling some relief at this point, and it’s now time for you to FOCUS on healing the nail. Done correctly, your nail should grow back normal and the good thing is that you have many options for the healing process.

Let us have a look at them

DIY Products You Need to Heal The Broken Nail

The first option is to use home remedies for broken nail pain that are likely to be found at home or at a local salon. Plus, these DIY solutions might only be suitable if the damage to the nail is not extensive:

  • Silk wraps and Nail Polish – you can silk wrap acrylic nails because they are chemical free and suitable for covering the affected area. The nail polish has acetone, which can disinfect.

  • Tea bags – use dry tea bags and nail glue to cover the affected area. It’s also a natural and effective solution.

Commercial Products for Filling and Repairing

These are products that you may have to order for online, or find at a local salon. Filling and repairing your nail has the benefit of protecting the nail bed from further damage or exposure to fungus.

Use the products below to fill and repair the nails:

  • Nail glue/brush-on resin/fake nails – you apply the nail glue on the fake nails, which you then use to cover the damaged sections of the nail. Also, apply some resin beforehand because it will strengthen the nail.

Our Recommended Product: Super Strong Nail Glue, Coffin Nails Long Fake Nails and  IBD Ibd 5 Second Brush-on Gel Resin

  • Files – you will use a file to trim out any sharp edges or protruding sections of the nail. Check for the grit level if you have to file the acrylic nails shorter.

Our Recommended Product: Nail Files and Buffer, TsMADDTs

  • Acrylic Powder/spray  – it is a form of a nail filler powder product that you apply over the nail bed with some glue. The best acrylic powder for a broken nail should also be simple to use.

Our Recommended Product: Mia Secret Professional Acrylic Powder

The Steps

You are probably asking, “can a broken nail grow back together?” Healing your nail should be easy once you have the tools we have recommended above. It may involve different steps, depending on the damage or pain you experience on your finger.

Use this 5 step guide to heal your nail:

Step 1: Wait it Out

If you leave a broken nail untouched, it should eventually fall off, and a new one should grow back in its place. However, you have to keep the affected area clean and free from dirt. Ensure the nail beds stay dry clean and that you cover it with some petroleum jelly.

Then, get an adhesive bandage, and apply it around the nail until it grows firm or has grown back. Use a new adhesive bandage whenever the wound area becomes wet. If you have a broken nail throbbing and bleeding, be observant for signs of infection such as heat, pain, tenderness, or pus.

Step 2: File and Cut It

If waiting is not an option, get a file and a nail cutter. Use the nail cutter to carefully trim the broken part of the nail. Filing and cutting the nail’s remaining edges helps ensure you won’t scrap it in on a firm surface. Preferably use a glass file because it has an excellent grit level, and its easy to use around the damaged edges of the nail.

Step 3: Apply DIY Healing Products

The options are many at this point. You can use the silk wraps, with some acetone based nail polish. You first have to apply nail glue, then dip the silk wraps in the nail polish and then wrap them around the affected part. You can also use the tea bags. Apply some glue or a base coat to the affected area, the place and cut a tea bag over the broken part.

Step 4: Use Nail Fill and Repair Products

If you don’t have any DIY products closeby, consider using the acrylic powder or the fake nails. Dip your finger into some glue, and then into the acrylic powder. You can also use the fake nails, with some nail glue. Consider using resin when using such products to help strengthen the nails.

Step 5: Repeat This Process Daily

You may have to repeat this process on a regular basis. For instance, you have to remove the silk wraps, fake nails or acrylic powder each day, to disinfect and reapply the product.

When to See A Doctor

You may have to visit a medical practitioner if you still notice the following:

  • The pain when pulling out the nail is intense
  • If you have uncontrollable bleeding or pus

Related: Guys Paint Their Nails Black

How Long and Natural the Broken Nail Is Going to Grow Back?

broken nail under acrylic

The normal thing at this step for anyone would be for anyone to wonder how long and natural the broken nail will grow. The good thing is that if you use the right healing and recovery techniques, your nail should grow back normal. Taking these factors into consideration is important in how to make your acrylic nail grow.

Below are the key factors to expect when on how the nail will grow:

The Growth Rate and Shape of The Broken Nail

Can a broken nail grow back together?

“YES!” However there is a catch to it! According to recent studies, the average growth rate of normal nail averages at 3.45 millimeters per month. To make it easy to understand, a short grain of rice is about 5 millimeters long. Factors such as your age, sex and diet will also have an effect on the growth rate of your nail.

How should you expect the nail shape to be during the recovery process?

The shape is likely to be bumpy and irregular at first, but may normalize over the next few weeks. However, if the nail fails to grow back normal, it may be a sign of an underlying issue such as cuticle damage.

The Time It’d take for The Broken Nail to Grow Back

Are you wondering how long a broken nail will grow back? It may take anything between 2 to 6 months for the broken nail and nail bed to grow back complete. That is what you should expect on how long it takes for acrylic nail to grow back.

However, if the damage has only occurred to the nail, expect it to grow faster with a time averaging at 2 months. Studies have also shown that the nails on your dominant hand develop faster, so do the longest fingers.

What to Do If It Doesn’t Grow Back?

Usually, the nail fingernails have a fast growth rate, and you should notice improvements to the affected area in a few weeks. The first step is to look out for issues such as malnourishment, the presence of fungus, and damaged nail beds.

If you don’t notice any improvements or the broken nail won’t grow back, visit an orthopedist.

How to Prevent Broken Nails Under Acrylic

You can still use acrylics to decorate or extend your fingers once your nails have completely healed. These are proven techniques for helping your broken nail grow back together. Preventing future breakages depends on how well informed you are about nail care and using acrylics.

Below are some useful on preventing such breakages to the nail:

Remove the Nails Regularly

Removing the nails regularly helps provide adequate time for the several layers of the nail to rejuvenate. Using this process will also give you the chance to clean and moisturize the remote sections of your nail bed. It also lets you clean the surface of the nail and check whether the nail has experienced any form of damage. You may need acetone acrylic nail remover for the best outcomes.

Use Biotin

Otherwise referred to as Vitamin H, biotin is a complex vitamin B7 that helps promote cells’ development in the body. It also helps boost the breakdown of protein building of amino acids, which help boost nail development. Most biotin nails results are often promising, especially for users with extra weak nails.

A good source of vitamin H would also be to consume biotin-rich foods. The best way to use is to apply it with a brush every time you have to replace or clean the acrylic nails. We recommend the NAIL-AID Biotin Base Coat.

Disinfect Regularly

Before applying any acrylic products on your hands, ensure you disinfect the nail and let it “breathe” for a few days. Disinfectant helps to clean real under acrylic, when applied the right way. You may have to use a disinfect nail brush for convenience.

Using this technique will help restore the nail and prevent any crevices that bacteria can hide underneath. You will need a disinfect nail brush for this process because it can get to the nail’s deep sections.

Moisturize Regularly

Using the best natural moisturizers at least once around the nail helps reduce dryness.

Common products such as Vaseline and Aquaphor are excellent. Dryness can be an issue because it increases the likelihood of puncturing the nail, leading to pain and wounds.

Like bones in the body that turn fragile due to osteoporosis, nails are likely to break, peel or chip without adequate moisturization.

FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions)

Can you break your real nail under acrylic?

Yes, the nail can break due to various issues such as poorly fitted acrylics, nail snag, and more. So, you have to be careful to protect your nail for such forms of damage.

Can a nail heal under acrylic?

Yes, it can. Using the right steps are important in how to heal a broken nail under acrylic. Plus, it also depends on factors such as the extent of damage on the cuticles and nail beds.

What causes fungus under acrylic nails?

A loosely fitted acrylic nail or letting the nails sit for many months with change. Such issues can lead to the accumulation of fungus under the acrylic nail.

How to tell if your nail is broken under acrylic?

Check for the challenges we mentioned above. These include pain, compromised finger mobility and more. You have to use the right techniques to relieve pain under acrylic nail.

Parting Words/Verdict

All things considered, regardless of the challenges, acrylics still make up for excellent techniques to extend or decorate the nails. However, using them the right way is also important if you want to safeguard the health of your nails. Poorly fitted acrylics, long term use and more are leading causes of broken nail under acrylic.

Treating it is a multifaceted process, and expect issues such as pain and lack of mobility. Plus, with the right techniques, your nail should grow back healthy in a few months

Katharyn Riedel

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