Thickened nails

Toenails can become thickened due to injury or disease and can then be difficult to manage and sometimes unsightly. They can also cause pain and discomfort and cause difficulty when trying to find proper fitting footwear.

What causes thickened nails?

There are a variety of reasons why nails become thickened but can often follow an injury on the toe, from stubbing it against something or having dropped a heavy object onto the nail. Fungal infections can cause thickening to occur, certain medical conditions, poorly fitting footwear, poor circulation and aging can all have a factor in this.

How are thickened nails treated?

Thickened nails can cause pain and discomfort and are extremely difficult to self-treat. A foot healthcare practitioner can carry out an assessment of a patient to determine the cause of the thickening and is then able to carefully and safely trim or file the nail down using nippers or a nail drill.

Footwear review and advice can then be given to determine if the shoes you are wearing are contributing to the problem. Inappropriate and poorly fitting footwear can lead to a range of problems, and make the symptoms of certain conditions worse.

Footwear which fits properly can help to prevent or treat the following conditions:

  • Ankle sprain
  • Blisters
  • Callus build up
  • Knee pain
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Painful corns

Footwear can also be used to accommodate foot deformities and are a particularly useful tool for patients suffering from disorders such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. 

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