Although it is common that both fingernails and toenails start thickening and changing their color and texture as we age, we see this change more often in toenails. In order to explain the reason why toenails are more likely to thicken than fingernails, we first talk about why nails thicken with ages.
The most common reason of nail thickening in elderly is the decrease of growth and repair rate of nail cells. As you age, blood circulation becomes poorer especially at the edges of your body, including your fingers and toes. Due to the poor blood circulation, it becomes harder for the nails to grow and repair themselves, which cause the old nail cells to build up. Consequently, your nails become thicker from the nail root as well as changing their color and texture.
Here is one of the reasons why fingernails do not thicken as much as toenails. The decrease of growth and repair rate of nail cells are much smaller in fingernails. Therefore, fingernails are less affected by ages than toenails.
There are other reasons that explain why toenails thicken more than fingernails. First, toenails are more likely to get long-term trauma than fingernails. Trauma from falling objects, ill-fitted shoes, and simply from walking and running can alter the cells from which nails grow. It can change the texture and thickness.
The second possible reason is a fungal nail infection. Fungal nail infections can thicken toenails more often than fingernails because toes are more likely to exposed to fungi. Fungi thrive in the dark and humid environment, which often describe inside the shoes.