Why Are My Toenails Thick?

Why Are My Toenails Thick?

Thickened toenails are typically a sign of a fungal toenail infection, which can cause changes in the texture and color of the toenail. An infected toenail can often thicken, become brittle or crumbly, and develop white, yellow, or brown discoloration. But while fungal infections are the most common cause of thickened toenails, they are not the only cause. Psoriasis, a skin condition, can also affect the toenails, making them thicker, pitted, and discolored. Paronychia, a nail disease caused by a bacterial infection, can thicken the toenail, make it discolored, and cause redness, pain, and inflammation around the nail. Diabetes can cause toenails to thicken because not enough nutrients are reaching the toenails to maintain their health. Other reasons your toenails may be thickened include onychogryphosis (Ram’s Horn), aging, a toenail injury, or a rare condition called yellow nail syndrome. If you notice changes in the thickness, color, or shape of your toenails, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. 

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact the podiatrists of Issaquah Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Issaquah, WA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus

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