Softening thickened fungal nails is an essential part of toenail maintenance when your nails have this infection. Toenail fungus infections can show symptoms in a variety of ways, which can be both functional and aesthetic. It is important to understand the way these signs and symptoms can manifest. For one, being able to identify toenail fungus early on in its development can help aid in the sometimes frustrating treatment process. Fungus grows quickly, so the earlier in its development that you receive treatment the better. Additionally, by knowing more about the cause of your concerns you can better maintain the condition of your nails while you are waiting to receive medical treatment or see results. 


Softening thickened fungal nails is one of the most integral parts of fungal nail maintenance. Frequently, the changes a fungal infection causes in the nail will include aesthetic differences in appearance, which can be frustrating and unpleasant. However, the structure and functionality of the nail itself can often be impeded on as well. Toenail fungus is well known for making the surface of the nail hard and thick. When the nails are in this condition, they can become more difficult to maintain. Specifically, the nails become difficult to trim and clip as you normally would.


Softening thickened fungal nails is an important part of nail hygiene and is an important part of general hygiene practices as well. Regular toenail hygiene includes regularly washing the toes. This process can help remove dirt, grime, and other things from underneath the nail. Trimming the nails is an essential part of nail hygiene as well. Without regular trimming the nails can become excessively long, which are often uncomfortable and unsightly. Very long nails can even start to push up against your shoes as you walk, which can be a cause of pain and discomfort. Additionally, the nails can start to curl underneath your toe, causing more issues. When the nails get excessively long, they can start to irritate the skin of the toe. The nails are also more prone to breakage when they are excessively long. When nails of this length break, there is potential to create sharp edges that could form an ingrown toenail. 


Softening thickened fungal nails is important to be able to trim them, which is essential for their maintenance. However, trimming them can feel impossible for people to do because of the ways toenail fungus has affected their nails. This is because the symptoms of toenail fungus can directly impact the ease of trimming the nails. When nails become excessively thick, traditional home nail clippers often won’t even fit around them. Thickened nails are also physically more difficult to cut. The nail clippers have to slice through more nail material, which presents more resistance to the blades. Lastly, nails can even become more hardened by toenail fungus infection. This means that even if the toenail is the same thickness as normal, the nail can still be more difficult to cut.


Softening thickened fungal nails is therefore an important step of their maintenance. This is easy and simple to do at home. Some of the most effective and easy nail softening techniques can safely be done at home with little ingredients required. Soaking thickened fungal nails in warm water regularly should effectively soften your nails to some degree. The purpose of soaking them is to allow them to absorb water, making them easier to cut. Fill a bathtub with enough warm water to submerge your feet, put your feet in the tub, and then simply let them sit for 20-40 minutes. If you would like to enhance the experience, you can add epsom salts into the water. If you would like to make the experience even more enjoyable, you can light a candle or read a book in the meantime. This can make the softening process something you can even learn to enjoy!


After softening thickened fungal nails in warm water, it should be much easier to trim them. Immediately after your feet have soaked, attempt to trim your toenails again. If the nails are still too hard to trim, you should repeat the softening process the next day until your nails are soft enough to cut. By repeating the process across a few days, you increase the amount of time your nails have to soften. However, this process won’t be effective for everybody with hard, thick toenails. 

Softening fungal toenails can only permanently be done with an FDA-approved treatment administered by a licensed podiatrist. To avoid needing to soak your feet every time you trim them for the rest of your life, you will need to eliminate the root cause of the hardening and thickening. The best treatment available is the PinPointe laser, which typically requires only one treatment to eliminate the fungus. After this treatment, a new healthy nail will grow behind the old damaged one. This new nail will be softer and easier to cut. To schedule a consultation with a licensed podiatrist for the PinPointe laser, give us a call at 1-(800) 672-0625 or visit our website for more information.