Dealing With Thick Toenails

by Karen Bates
(last updated September 25, 2009)

Having thick, yellow toenails can make you want to hide your feet all year round. Even during nice weather, you might keep your toes covered so they are out of sight and out of mind.

Thick toenails can have different causes. Possibly the most common cause is fungus in the toenail. This fungus can make the toenail thicken and become discolored. Injuries to the toe or foot can also change the thickness or color of toenails. Certain skin conditions can also impact toenail thickness.

Having thick toenails doesn't have to be embarrassing, though. You might feel like there is nothing you can do to help your feet, but in fact there are ways to treat, reduce the appearance of, and cure thick toenails. With just a little bit of care, your toenail situation can be improved.

Try these ideas when deciding how to deal with, treat and prevent thick toenails:

  • If you need to trim thick toenails, try soaking your feet in water first. After soaking, file the nails down with an emery board so they will be thinner, which makes the toenails easier to clip.
  • If you need to hide thick, yellow nails in a hurry but still want to wear sandals or open-toed shoes, you can try nail polish to improve the appearance of toenails. Apply a base coat, let dry, then paint on 1-2 layers of polish in whatever color you like. You may be able to find special polish that will help reduce thickness or color.
  • There are over-the-counter and prescription medications that you can use on thick nails. The effectiveness of these treatments vary. For instance, you can use a topical treatment to help fungal infections in nails or take a pill.
  • To help prevent fungal nail infections, never walk barefoot through public areas such as health clubs or locker rooms. Bring sandals or slippers when walking through these areas to reduce the risk of getting an infection.
  • Be sure that you wear shoes that fit your feet properly so that you can prevent injuries. There should be plenty of space for your toes to be comfortable in your shoes.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry, especially between your toes.
  • Make an appointment with a foot specialist if you have trouble getting rid of thick or yellow nails.

With simple treatment, you should find relief from thick nails and no longer feel embarrassed about your nails.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

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