Normal nails can be clipped and groomed easily, but thick toenails can cause problems. Thick toenails can be unsightly. It can also be painful and difficult to take care of at home. Toenails that are thickening are usually an effect of existing medical problems. You should figure out the reason why your toenails are thick so that you can solve the problem and find the correct treatment option. 

There are multiple reasons why your toenails become thick. Below are common reasons:

Underlying medical condition

If you had another underlying condition, you’d be likely to notice a sudden change in the structure of your nails. Some of the common health conditions than can cause thick toenails are: Eczema, Psoriasis, some types of cancer, Diabetes, and heart disease. 


Most people experience thickening of the nails because age is a contributing factor to why your nails are thickening. The process of nail thickening is called Onychauxis. The nails become hard due to the regular stressors of life. The nails grow slower and thicker as we get older, however, this problem only affects the toenails. 

To prevent  your nails from thickening as you age, keep toenails closely trimmed. This prevents debris from being stuck under the nails. If your toenails are too thick to be trimmed using normal clippers, you will need to use special toenail clippers. Also, make sure to keep your toenails as clean as possible and wear shoes that fit properly to prevent causing any trauma to the nails.


Another possible reason why your nails are thick is toenail fungus or Onychomycosis. In addition to thick toenails, nail fungus can also cause your nails to have yellow or brown discoloration. Additional symptoms of toenail fungus are brittle nails, foul odor and separation of the nail from the nail bed. 

If you have thick toenails and you think it might be toenail fungus, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our podiatrists. We have over 100 clinics nationwide, including Astoria in Queens, New York.