By Anna Roberts

The nail bed is the portion of a fingernail or toenail that is directly next to the laluna, or the white crescent-shaped part at the base of the nail. It contains nerves and blood vessels. Damage to this area occurs fairly frequently and can be caused by stubbing a toe, dropping something heavy on a finger or toe, chronic conditions like hammertoe, or even a nail bed that is not smooth, which can cause the nail to split as it grows. A minor nail bed split can be treated at home until it heals while serious trauma that includes surrounding tissue requires a doctor's care.

Take Care of a Split Nail Bed

Step 1

Trim the tip of the nail short.

Step 2

Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap. Wash your foot as well if it is a toenail split. Dry your hands and foot thoroughly.

Step 3

Apply Neosporin or another antibiotic ointment to the area of the split.

Step 4

Wrap the finger or toe with an adhesive bandage to prevent any further damage and reduce the chance of infection.

Step 5

Repeat daily until the nail heals.

Step 6

If the damage is very serious or is worsened by a chronic condition such as hammertoe, you need to see a podiatrist.