Thick toenails

thick toenailsThick toenails are commonly regarded as physiological inherited feature. Most of the patients consider that toenails get thicker with age. Distortion is considered to be a result of numerous damages and mechanical impact from footwear. However it is not quite that way. Thick nails on your toes are a symptom of a certain toenail disease which needs immediate treatment. For example, ingrown toenail, if left untreated, may cause severe inflammation and tissue necrosis (death). A gangrene may develop and a toe or an entire foot then must be amputated. From this review you will find out to what diseases thick nails point to and how to treat thickened toenails.


  1. Thick toenails: a scope of symptoms
  2. What are the risks of thick toenails?
  3. How to treat thick toenails?
  4. Correct methods of thick nails treatment

Thick toenails: a scope of symptoms

First and foremost thick nails on your feet is a sign of toenail fungal infection in a rather neglected form as at early stage the nail does not get thicker. However if you noticed previously yellow or brown spots on your nails or you noticed crumbliness when cutting the toenails, then thickening may point to fungal infection of nail plate. There are numerous ways how to treat fungal infections on toe nails. At the early stages fungal infection is best treated with soda and white vinegar. You can find numerous recipes on the web. These treatments are harmless. If you have fungal infection, then you will notice that almost all the nails are damaged and thickened.

Thick nails on your feet may point to improper footwear or problems with spine. You will wonder, how toenails are relative to spine. But when you have slight spinal curvature, then the imbalance of weight happens in your body and one of your legs experiences heavier load than another. This leads to differences in the way our feet walk in shoes and to alternation of biomechanics of everyday walking. When a toe strikes continually against the shoe it gets separated from the nail bed causing an additional entrance port for fungi and bacteria. In case of mechanical causes of thick toenails only one or several (but not all) toenails will feature thickening.

What are the risks of thick toenails?

Thickened toenails are causing numerous troubles to patients. First, such damaged distorted nails look very unaesthetic. This prevents you from wearing footwear you want (for example, open toe shoes or sandals in the summer time).

Thickened nails cause severe pain when damaged. Thick nails are crumbly and are very hard to cut evenly. This happens that they just crack during cutting causing pain which then lasts for several weeks.

Apart from being easily damaged thickened nails are a perfect entrance for bacteria and fungi. If you just notice that your nails become thicker and more crumbly, then you need to take immediate actions to stop thickening and to prevent the condition in the future.

How to treat thick toenails?

Many patients treat thickened nails as an absolutely cosmetic problem doing only filing and trimming of a damaged nail plate. We must warn you. In such a way you will damage your nail even more severely and open a new way in for bacteria and fungi. Besides, in such a way you will only treat a consequence and not a problem. This means that thick toenails will reoccur every time.

You must see a doctor if you feel such symptoms:

  • pain which gets sharper when you press or even touch the damaged nail
  • pain that spreads to nearby lying tissues
  • pus going out from the thickened nail plate
  • foul odor
  • darkening of the skin around damaged nail

Never neglect these symptoms and look for an immediate medical help.

Another error is addressing to beauty parlors not clinics with thick toenail problem. A master will in the same way polish and file a nail surface, covering it then with nail polish which will just worsen the case blocking the air flow to and from, and the damaged nail stops breathing.

Correct methods of thick nails treatment

Soaking nails in antiseptic solutions. You can make a solution from ingredients you have at home (salt, soda, vinegar). Add the components in hand hot water and soak your feet for at least 30 minutes. Then wide toes and feet with a towel and try to gently polish a thickened nail plate. A death layer should be easily removed without applying power.

Doctors recommend to add topical antifungal creams or gels as preventive means as thick toenail is commonly complicated with fungal infections.

Watch carefully the quality of footwear and how shoes are fitting your feet. The shoes should be of proper size and model in order not to constrict your feet as such a constriction will sooner or later turn into distortion of toes, feet and nails.

In rare cases a thickened toenail should be removed in order a new nail to grow healthier and stronger.