What Are Thickened Toenails?

A healthy nail plate should be thin and pink, with a white tip as it grows off the end of the nail bed. Thickened toenails can become, discoloured and start to curve for various reasons.

Thickened toenails will become painful without treatment. This is because the toenail takes up more space in the front of the shoe, causing pressure.

Treatment from a podiatrist to reduce the nail thickness can prevent tissue breakdown or wounds forming underneath the nail plate.

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 the toenails.


Diseases That Can Affect Nail Shape, Integrity and Colour:

Thickened Toenails Snapshot

  • Common in athletes or following nail trauma
  • Can be painful or cause discomfort
  • Easily treatable with conservative care


Causes of Thickened Toenails

  • Trauma

  • Underlying nail spur

  • Poor circulation

  • Age

  • Fungal infections

  • Various skin conditions (e.g psoriasis, eczema)

  • Severe malnutrition


Thickened Toenail Symptoms

  • Thick, crumbly, discoloured nails which may affect one or all toenails.

  • Nails may begin to lift or curve.

  • Pain from footwear as the thickened nails take up more room in the shoe.

  • Bruising or wounds under the nail from the build up of pressure.


Treatment for Thickened Toenails

Toenails which are thickened or starting to curve as a result 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.

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