Thick and tough to cut toenails is one of the most common complaints to podiatrists. It is often accompanied by slight brown discoloration of the nail plate. It’s often affects the big toenails but can be seen in other nails.
Why is it important to have properly cared for nails?
The excessive growth makes nail cutting difficult. If neglected or not properly cared for, it will cause pain and discomfort. Unremitting pressure from footwear may lead to the development of an ulcer under the nail plate, especially in the elderly, diabetic, people with poor circulation, or peripheral neuropathy.
What causes toenails to thicken?
- Single major trauma from a heavy blow or stubbing
- Minor but repetitive trauma from shoes
- Fungal infections
- Eczema and psoriasis
- Poor circulation to the toes, especially in the elderly
- Irrespective of the cause, the nail should be cut and filed to reduce the thickness. This treatment will need to be repeated every 6-8 weeks
- Better fitting footwear
- If the thickening of the nails was caused by psoriasis and eczema, stabilisation of the skin condition can improve the nails
- Complete removal of the nail if the condition is restricted to just one toe and the patient has no contraindication against foot surgery. Please consult with our Podiatrist before you choose this option