Thick Toenails | Clinical Blog | ACE Feet in Motion

Thickened toe nails


Senior Podiatrist Hannah Barrett discusses tough, thick nails, the potential causes and the best ways to manage them.

Are your toenails too thick to cut?

Thickened toenails come through the clinic door every day! We see people of all ages with this problem and there are lots of different causes.  Most people find them unsightly and painful, so we do what we can to reduce the thickness of the nail and make them more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

What is a thickened nail?
A thickened toenail may be overlooked in the early stages, as a nail gets thicker it becomes more noticeable and often uncomfortable.
Here are the common signs and appearance changes:

-          Difficulty in trimming/cutting the nail

-          Dirt, dead skin & debris under the nail

-          Pain or discomfort from pressure on the nail

-          Brittle nail & splitting of the nail

-          Unpleasant odour coming from the nail

-          Nail lifting from the nail bed

Common causes:

-Fungal infection also known as Onychomycosis
-Repeated trauma or injury – Dropping a heavy object on your toe
-Tight and narrow shoes
-Sports – runners, dancers, football and rugby players commonly lose their nails and have thickened toenails
-Medical conditions & medication- psoriasis, poor circulation, diabetes.

How do I cut my thick toenails?
It is often very difficult to cut a thickened toenail and you might even break your nail nippers in the process! I would always advise to file a thickened nail rather than cut it, this way you can do little harm to the nail and surrounding skin.  A ‘Diamond deb’ nail file usually works best, filing the nail 2-3 times a week will usually keep the thickness reduced. You may need to see a podiatrist or chiropodist to professionally reduce the thickness of the nail with a specialised nail drill.

What can we do to help?
At ACE we have specialised equipment to reduce the thickness of your nails and make them comfortable and improve their appearance.

We can also help to determine the cause of your thickened nails. If it is a fungal infection we can advise on a suitable treatment to treat the infection.

We have a fungal nail treatment which involves drilling micro holes in the nail, this allows for the anti-fungal spray to penetrate the cells to clear the fungal infection, this process takes about 6-12 months until the nail has grown out.

If you feel your nail is unsightly we can also remove the toenail in a procedure called ‘Nail Surgery’. This involves removing the nail and applying a chemical to stop the nail from re-growing.

fungal nail treatment PDF.

Call us on 0800 622 6789 to book an appointment today & take care of the problem.