Thick Toenails

Causes and Treatment of Thick Toenails

When summer rolls around, many people can’t wait to don their sandals, but those suffering with thick toenails often continue to wear closed toe shoes. To the ones who have it, this condition is embarrassing and is often accompanied by a discoloration of the toenail as well.

So what causes thick toenails? Usually, the condition is caused by a fungus. Some are more susceptible to the condition. Fungus thrives in moisture and your feet are often in the prime environment to develop this problem. This is especially true if you are active.

The fungus that causes thick toenails can also be spread from person to person. It is for this reason that you should never use a public shower, such as in a hotel or gym, without wearing shower shoes or flip flops. Also, you should avoid sharing socks and shoes with others. If you must, such as the use of bowling shoes, be sure that they are sprayed with disinfectant before you use them.

If you have pedicures done at a salon, be sure that they use a new nail file for each client. If they do not, consider bringing your own supplies.

The symptoms of this type of fungal infection can usually be spotted just by looking at the toenails. In addition to thick toenails, you will see discoloration and, in some cases, the nail will split or there will be debris in the nail bed.

If you do get such an infection, it will not go away on its own. You will need to treat the infection in order to take care of the thick toenails and other symptoms. There are a variety of topical medications available. Many people use topical treatments with great success. 

Of course, you will need to practice flawless foot hygiene both during the treatment and after in order to prevent another infection.

Not everyone will have success when trying to treat their thick nails with topical medications. In that case, you will need to see a foot specialist (podiatrist) for further treatment. Ignoring the problem will only cause it to become worse. This condition will not self-correct.

Of course, the best option is to do all that you can to prevent such a problem in the first place. You should only wear shoes that fit properly. This includes making sure that your toes have plenty of wiggle room.

You should also take steps to ensure that your feet remain dry. For some people, this may include using a foot powder each day. After working out, remove your socks immediately and replace with a fresh, dry pair.

Choose good quality socks that allow your feet to breathe and that help to remove moisture. As mentioned above, you should not use a public shower without wearing foot protection and you should not share shoes and socks.

Thick toenails can be cured. For some this can be done at home with over the counter products, while others will need the help of a doctor.

Remember that this is not a problem that will go away on its own. If you have thick toenails, you will need to seek the treatment that works for you. You will be back to wearing sandals in no time.