Is it safe to put gel on a natural nail that is cracked down to the nail bed?

November 03, 2012

Is it safe to put gel on a natural nail that is cracked down to the nail bed? What’s the best way to go about fixing the nail for my client?


Nail technicians are licensed to work on healthy, intact nails and skin. If the nail plate is cracked through to the nail bed, the nail technician should not service this nail if the nail bed is exposed. Such work is outside the scope of her practice since this is a medical condition. If a nail becomes seriously injured, it is the nail technician’s professional duty to refer the client to a qualified medical professional for diagnosis and treatment, if required.  

— Doug Schoon is chief scientific advisor for CND. You can find more nail-related info at

What’s the cause of the pinkish-red oval area on the pad of my client’s toes?

I have a client who has a recurring problem with her fourth toes during the winter months. Both of her “ring finger” toes develop a pinkish-red oval area on the pad. Then a month later, when I see her again, the skin has become dry and hard like a callus, with the layers of skin peeling away to reveal a deeper, dark epicenter.  It’s extremely painful for her and, needless to say, we do not touch it. But it clears up in the summer when she’s wearing open-toed sandals, so I suspect it has to be due to the boots she wears in the winter. Plus she never puts lotion on her feet or uses a foot file in between visits. What do you think causes this?

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What are the big white spots on my natural-nail client’s nails?

I have a client who has been with me for about two years. She used to wear acrylic nails but has been a natural nail client for eight months or so. She has these white spots on her nails — big spots that are dry, but not flaky, right in the middle of the nail. I did try to buff them lightly but they do not come off or grow off. I had a new client come in last week who had the same on her toenails. She said it started after she had a pedicure done at another salon. Can you help?

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