If you are noticing thick toenails on your feet, you may be wondering what is causing this. Thick toenails are often accompanied by yellowing of the toenails, as well as them becoming brittle. A number of things can cause thick toenails, and here we will go over some of the possible reasons behind your thick toenails.
- Injury: If you experience an injury or trauma to your toenail, it can result in thick toenails. This can include a sudden trauma such as dropping a heavy object on your foot or banging your toe, or less severe, repeated injuries. Athletes – usually soccer players – often develop thick toenails because of the repeated striking of their toes with the ball. Even wearing tight shoes can result in injury, and subsequently thick toenails.
- Skin Conditions: Certain skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and paronychia can result in thick toenails. These conditions cause inflammation, redness, and cracks in the skin surrounding the nail. Psoriasis is especially notorious for causing thick toenails, since 50% of patients experience it along with ridges in the nail.
- Poor Circulation: IYou might have noticed that older people tend to have thick toenails. This is because as people age, circulation in the extremities diminishes and this can cause toenails to thicken. This is also what is at play with other circulatory diseases, and patients with diabetes. It is because of circulatory issues, in fact, that people with diabetes need to frequently check in with podiatrists.
- Nail Fungus: The main cause for thick toenails in nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis. It is mostly caused by a class of fungi called dermatophytes, as these fungi settle on the nail bed and infect the nail. Nail fungus can actually occur as a result of any of the above conditions, and is present in 10% of the general population and over 20% of seniors. In nail fungus, your thick toenails may also be painful, odorous, and can separate from the nail bed. Fungal nail infections require medical attention because they can spread to other parts of the body and worsen over time.
If you have thick toenails, this may be a telltale sign of nail fungus. We can help to treat your nail fungus with our FDA-approved PinPointe laser, which is the most effective treatment for thick toenails caused by nail fungus. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our doctors at one of our over 120 locations.