Treatment of Difficult Nails

Thick Nail Before Treatment

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Thick Nail After Treatment

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Our toenails thicken and harden naturally as we grow older, but this can occur at any age.


When toenail thickening occurs in younger people it is most commonly due to infection or injury.


If the thickening is caused by toenail fungus, the nail may turn a yellow or brown colour before it begins to thicken. Fungal infections often have a foul odour, and may cause fluid to collect under the nail.


While major trauma to the nail is an obvious cause of thickening, it is more often the result of repetitive pressure on the nail during everyday activities.


The continual striking of the nail against the shoe causes it to separate from the nail bed. Certainly we expect to see this in long-distance runners or soccer players, but ordinary walkers are just as susceptible.


The likelihood of this occurring is multiplied when mileage is increased, sneakers are too short, or walking routes with steep inclines alter the biomechanics of everyday motion.


Thickened toenails can be painful and difficult to cut, and they can increase one’s susceptibility to infection.


Often, the fungal infection occurs secondary to trauma. The fungal spores take advantage of the weakened state of the nail, the nail bed and the matrix caused by the trauma and infects over time. It is called an adventitious fungal infection.


What Causes Toenails to Thicken?


• Any alteration to the nail plate, nail bed, or root of the nail can result in  thickening. This damage may be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause.


• We can add thickened toenails to the list of changes that occur with age.  While it may be simply the accumulation of trauma over time, other factors  such as metabolic change and the reduction of blood flow also play a role.


• As previously mentioned, fungal infections are a major cause of thickening  toenails, but bacterial infections, which often accompany ingrown toenails, may have the same effect.


• Trauma, whether caused by the dropping of a hammer on the toe or by the  imperceptible pressure of a shoe, can result in permanent thickening of the  nail.


• Systemic diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis,  cardiovascular disease, and cancer, to name a few, may affect the toenails.

Are you certain that you have a fungal nail infection?

Make sure to test before seeking treatment.