Thickened nails may become painful if left untreated as they take up more room in the toe box of the shoe. This increased thickness and pressure on the nail bed should be seen to and managed by a podiatrist to prevent tissue breakdown or wounds forming underneath the nail.
It is also important to note that any discolouration under the nail plate, that does not grow out with the nail should be assessed and monitored by either your podiatrist or GP., as benign and malignant melanomas have been found to form under nail plates.
Causes of Thickened Toenails:
- Underlying spur.
- Poor circulation.
- Fungal infections
- Various skin conditions (e.g psoriasis, eczema).
- Severe malnutrition.
Symptoms of Thickened Toenails:
- Thick, crumbly, discoloured nails which may affect one or all nails.
- Nails may begin to lift or curve.
- Pain from footwear as the thickened nails take up more room in the shoe.
- Subungual bruising or wounds under the nail from the build up of pressure.
Diseases That Can Effect Nail Shape, Integrity and Colour Include:
- Lung disease.
- Heart disease.
- Kidney disease.
- Liver disease.
- Thyroid disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Treatment for Thickened Nails:
- Resection and thinning of the nail by a podiatrist.
- Nail scrapings may be taken for fungal culture.
- Permanent or temporary surgical removal of the nail.
Toenails which are thickened or starting to curve as a result of increase thickness are best treated by a podiatrist. Well Heeled Podiatry is experienced in dealing with all kinds of nail problems, including nails that are splitting, pitting, lifting or ridged.