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Have Thick Toenails? Learn the Causes, Tips, and Treatments

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Thickened toenails can be a minor unsightly irritation or a severe and painful situation.

Either way, proper steps need to be taken when trimming these thickened nails to make sure more damage is not caused to the nails or surrounding areas.

In this article, we will cover what causes thickened toenails, the proper way to cut them, how to work on treating them, and what can put you at risk for developing thick toenails.

What causes thick toenails?

Toenails tend to get thicker over time as you age, and this is different than fingernails which actually tend to become softer and weaker over time.

But, the most common cause of very thickened toenails is a toenail fungus, also called Onychomycosis.

Toenail fungus occurs often, with 3%-12% of the population affected.

Signs that you may be dealing with a nail fungus include:

  • Thickened nails
  • White, yellow, brown, or black discolorations
  • Crumbling, brittle, ragged nails
  • Debris building up under your nails
  • Changes in the overall shape of your nails
  • Unpleasant smells coming from your toenails

Other potential reasons for thickened toenails include:

  • Onychomycosis (toenail fungus)
  • General aging
  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation conditions
  • Psoriasis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Damage to the nail bed
  • Shoes that are too small causing toenails to constantly hit the end of the shoe

How to cut thick toenails?

Thick toenails have to be cut in a very specific way to avoid additional pain or injury to the nail area and avoid ingrown toenails.

According to the mayo clinic, following these steps is the best way to cut thick toenails:

Step1: Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes to soften them. Then dry with a towel.

Step 2: Using nail clippers that are easy to hold start taking small short clips carefully across the nail.

Step 3: Continue cutting all the way across the nail in a straight direction - do not try to round the corners of the nail to avoid ingrown nails.

Step 4: Gently file down the edges to ensure that sharp jagged parts will not snag fabrics and injure the nail.

How to get rid of thick toenails?

Getting rid of thickened toenails depends on what is causing them in the first place.

If thickened toenails are being caused by diabetes, hypothyroidism, or poor circulation, the nails will likely stay the same thickness unless these conditions are improved or addressed.

Proper toenail hygiene, clipping, and wearing appropriately sized footwear may help with toenail thickness over time.

If the thick toenails are being caused by a nail fungus, the nail will likely stay thick until the underlying fungus is cleared.

Toenail fungus is normally more difficult to treat than fungal infections on the skin, and will likely require medications to clear up.

Speak with a doctor about options about toenail fungus, including creams or oral antifungal medications.

Due to the slow-growing nature of toenails, and the difficulty of clearing toenail fungus, even when being treated toenail fungus may take a year or more to fully clear up.

Strut Nail Formula is a physician and pharmacist formulated antifungal medication which combines multiple antifungals with a driving agent to help with delivery deep into the nail.

Schedule an Online Visit with our doctors today to see if a nail fungus is the cause of your thickened toenails and if Strut Nail Formula is a good option for you.

If you are a good candidate for treatment, your nail formula can be shipped directly to your front door.

What puts you at risk for thickened toenails?

Some conditions, habits, or activities may put you at a higher risk for developing a toenail fungus or overall thickened toenails including:

  • Constantly wet or damp feet
  • Not wearing protective shoes when in a gym, locker, sauna, or pool environment
  • Letting toenails grow too long
  • Poor toenail hygiene
  • Non-disinfected tools being used on the toenails
  • Wearing shoes that were worn by someone with a toenail fungus
  • Having athlete’s foot
  • Smoking
  • Wearing shoes which are too small or constricting
  • Damage toes or toenails
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Poor circulation
  • Having diabetes, hypothyroidism, or psoriasis
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