Do you have thicker toenails than usual, and are you uncomfortable having them like this or wearing bare footwear? In the first place, it is essential to know what are the causes associated with the presence of thick nails, and that is that they can range from fungal infections, aging, or psoriasis to be related to genetic factors.
However, all causes can be successfully treated, and medical treatment options will depend on why you have thick toenails, so it will be essential to pay attention to other symptoms you may have. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain in detail the treatment of thick toenails and what natural remedies can help improve this alteration.
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Thick toenails: causes
More than an aesthetic problem, thick toenails conceal different causes that many people ignore. If the reason associated with their presence is not identified in time, thickened nails can be difficult to trim and even cause discomfort when using some footwear.
Medically, thickened nails are onychauxis and involve abnormal thickening or overgrowth of the nails, which can be considered a symptom of an underlying disease.
Some possible causes of thickened toenails are:
- Fungi: The fungus in the nails can be reflected in their thickening. Dermatophytes are microorganisms that grow on and under the nail, causing it to thicken, even until the pin is lifted from its nail bed. Fungal infections thrive in warm, humid environments such as feet.
- Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease characterized by the presence of scaly and erythematous welts over much of the body; it also usually affects the nails of both the hands and toes, causing the dead cells that are around the nail to become irritated and the pin itself thickens. Lines may also appear on the nail, discoloration, or even detachment.
- Trauma: thick nails can appear due to some direct trauma to the toenail. This can happen by hitting the nail on a door, playing sports, or using inappropriate footwear. The pin will probably return to normal once the traumatic process has improved, but if it is related to wearing the wrong or tight-fitting footwear, it can affect the thickness of the nail for a long time.
- Poor circulation: poor blood circulation and, consequently, a deficit of the nutrients that the nails need for their average growth can be why you have thickened nails. This is more common in older people and diabetic patients. In fact, in the latter case, doctors can intuit the presence of diabetes mellitus if you have thick toenails.
- Genetics: people whose one or both parents suffer from thickened nails, or onychauxis may also have this abnormal and uncomfortable nail manifestation at some point in their life.
Thick toenails: medical treatment
If you notice that you have thick toenails, you must go to the doctor to find out what the exact cause is and be able to start the appropriate treatment:
- In the case of thick nails caused by fungi, the usual treatment to cure them is topical antifungals following the dose and time indicated by the specialist. There are cases in which topical antifungal therapy is not enough, so that the doctor may recommend oral treatment, laser treatment, or nail removal.
- There is no defined treatment for this localized problem if we talk about nail psoriasis. However, what your doctor will recommend is treating the underlying disease. In some cases, steroid injections may be recommended.
- Wearing proper footwear is essential to maintaining good nail health. In addition, this is recommended, above all, for those who have thick nails due to poor circulation due to wearing very tight shoes.
How to soften toenails
Before trying to cut thick toenails, it is essential that you know that there are some ways to soften them so that this procedure does not become traumatic, difficult, and painful:
- First, you must adequately wash your feet with soap for delicate skin, emphasizing the nails. Then, rinse with plenty of water and towel dry.
- In a container that you can dip your feet in, add warm water, a few drops of baby oil, and salt to soften and moisturize your nails. Soak your feet for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
- After you’ve soaked them long enough to soften your nails, dry them with a soft towel.
- Finally, you can use a smoothing cream directly on the toenails to cut them more easily.
It is essential to have all the right tools before cutting thick toenails and filing them enough to fine-tune them. You should start cutting them from the top, applying gentle pressure, and keeping them still wet to avoid trauma.
Remedies for thick toenails
Some natural remedies can help prevent thick toenails and, in turn, some of the possible associated causes. However, it is not advisable to use them before being evaluated by the doctor:
- Lavender, rosemary, or coconut oil: any of these have antifungal properties ideal for fighting infections caused by toenail fungus. It is recommended to dip a piece of cotton in one of these oils and apply it directly to the nails. Do this procedure for 10 minutes at least three times a day.
- White vinegar: soak your feet to prepare two cups of white vinegar with warm water for 30 minutes twice a day. Vinegar can help prevent toenail infections.
- Tea tree oil: is used as a natural disinfectant, antibacterial, and fungicide. It is recommended to use it mixed with orange oil or olive oil and apply it directly to the affected nail.
- Sodium bicarbonate with vinegar: This mixture effectively prevents the growth and proliferation of fungi. It is recommended to soak your feet in a cross made of water and vinegar and then immerse them in a mixture of water and baking soda; repeat this procedure at least two times a day.
- Oil of oregano: it is antiviral, antiparasitic, and antiseptic. Use a few drops of oregano oil mixed with a teaspoon of olive oil and apply it directly to the nails, leaving it to act for at least 30 minutes.
If you have observed that you have thick toenails and do not know that there has been any trauma or do not know if there is any footwear that may have caused them, we recommend that you go to your GP immediately.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Thick nails on the feet: treatment and remedies , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.