As we age, our toenails – and fingernails – slow their growth rate, and the nails thicken because the nail cells, called onychocytes, sort of pile up. Fingernails appear to thicken less, probably because we tend to them more often with filing and buffing, which thins them.
To properly cut your thick toenails , follow these steps: Soak your feet in warm water for at least 10 minutes to soften your nails, and then use a towel to thoroughly dry your feet and toenails . Using a nail clipper, make small cuts to avoid splintering the nail and cut straight across.
Your toenails can thicken for many reasons. These include: A common skin condition that causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin ( psoriasis ) Injury.
You’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. In some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to either a doctor who specializes in skin conditions (dermatologist) or one who specializes in foot conditions ( podiatrist ).
How are thick toenails treated? Clean the affected area with soap and water daily. Groom your nails regularly. Apply an over-the-counter fungal treatment after you gently file your nails. Apply Vicks VapoRub on your toenail each day.
Although designed for cough suppression, its active ingredients, camphor and eucalyptus oil, may help treat toenail fungus . A 2011 study found Vicks VapoRub had a “positive clinical effect” in the treatment of toenail fungus . To use, apply a small amount of Vicks VapoRub to the affected area at least once a day.
This overgrowth is called subungual hyperkeratosis. People with hyperkeratosis may notice a white, chalky substance under the nail. When this occurs in the toenails , the pressure of shoes pushing down on the nails might cause pain.
For nails that are still intact, it’s acceptable to gently file down the nail as long as you don’t file it too thin (this can increase the possibility of infection). Use clippers to trim the nails, then file them gently, as thickened nails are susceptible to splintering.
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Once you see normal nail growing out (after about three to six months , so don’t be impatient), continue to remove or trim infected nails, and apply the Vicks twice daily. Although significant positive ef fects may take a year or more to appear (because the toenails grow so slowly), be patient.
“Nail keratin debris results from a fungal infection of the nail. In medical terms this is called onychomycosis or tinea unguium,” says Batra. The fungal infection breaks down the keratin in the nail to form a white or yellow chalky substance under the nail plate.
Anyone can develop a fungal infection of the nail, but more people get toenail fungus than fingernail fungus. A foul odor may indicate that you’re dealing with a fungus. It’s possible to have both nail psoriasis and a fungal infection.
Your Toenails and Vascular Health Poor toenail growth is one of many signs of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). PAD is a common, yet serious vascular condition that requires medical treatment. Blockage in the arteries can restrict circulation to the limbs, organs, and brain.
It is uncommon for an infected nail to cause severe pain or permanent disfigurement, but this does occur in some cases. If left untreated , fungal nail infections can cause difficulties with walking, exercising or manual tasks such as typing. The main symptoms of onychomycosis include the nail becoming: Brittle.
Most nails with extensive fungal infection may still look disfigured even after 12 weeks of treatment, as the nail plate grows slowly and it takes about nine months to grow out fully. Even once the fungus is successfully eradicated, there may be long-term effects on the appearance of the nail .