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— Thickened Toenails, What Could It Be?

Have you suddenly developed thickened toenails? Wondering where you got them from?

Read on to find out more about those unsightly toenails!

  1. Fungal infection

Onychomycosis is a fungal nail infection. It can cause pain and discomfort and often lead to disfigurement of the nail.

 

Signs & Symptoms

  • ​Yellow, white, brown discolouration
  • Thickening of the toenail
  • Crumbly, fragile nails

 

How do you get it?

  • ​Walking barefoot in communal areas
  • Warm, dark ,damp environments
  • Swimming pools/gyms/sauna
  • Fungus enters the skin through microtrauma/cuts

 

  1. Ill fitting footwear

If your little toe is looking a little thicker than the rest of the toes, it could be footwear related. Especially those ladies that are advocates for high heels!

Try and avoid narrow, pointy toe shoes as the shape of the shoe can irritate and cause the nail to thicken. You may also notice a bit of callous around the nail too. Give your heels a break and slip on a pair of wide fitting shoes, you’ll see the difference!

 

  1. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which causes your body to produce too many skin cells. The extra cells build up on your skin, resulting in scaly, red or silvery white patches.

 

Nail psoriasis is a nail condition associated with psoriasis which is often mistaken for fungal nails as they have similar presentation. Some of the associated signs and symptoms of psoriatic nails besides thickening of the nail plate is pitting, separation of the nail plate from the nail bed and transverse lines and ridges.

 

  1. Trauma

Repetitive trauma can create nails to thicken. Just like how callous develops in response to friction, pressure or irritation, the nails also become thicker as a coping mechanism to unwanted stresses. Trauma may not always be something that can be avoided but just be aware of your surroundings and wear proper protective gear when under activity.

 

There could be other reasons as to why you have developed those thickened toenails.

 

If you are after an expert opinion, come visit one of our friendly podiatrists from Podiatry HQ at South Melbourne for a full evaluation of your toenails!