Thickened Toenails (onychauxis) can be caused by a number factors. At The Healthcare Hub our HCPC registered podiatrists treat this condition regularly. This blog gives us an overview of the condition.
Thick nails can occur for many reasons but as the nails become thicker they become harder to cut and manage. This increased thickness can also become a source of embarrassment as they can be unsightly. Once the nail becomes thicker it can then become repetitively traumatised by footwear. This can then lead to pain and discomfort.
As the toenails become thick they usually become more noticeable and often uncomfortable. Signs to look for if a nail is thickening are, difficulty cutting or trimming the nail, pain or discomfort around or underneath the nail, brittle or splitting nails, dirt, dead skin or debris under the nail and sometimes lifting of the nail.
There are many things that can lead to thickening of the nails;
- Trauma – dropping a heavy weight on to nail can cause the nail matrix to become damaged leaving you with a thick nail
- Fungal nail infection – also known as Onychomycosis can lead to thickening, discolouration and flaking of the toe nail
- Sports – runners often present with blackened, thick, painful toenails due to the highly repetitive trauma to the nails
- Poorly fitted footwear – Tight, narrow or poorly fitted shoes can lead to trauma to the nail
- Medical conditions and certain medication can leave the nails thick, hard and brittle
Topical fungicide, files