Toenails are the hard protective covering of the dorsal portion of the terminal phalanges of toes in humans. These parts of the skin are hard in nature in order to provide efficient defense on the sensitive portions of the tip of the toes. Unfortunately, these toenails can also be afflicted with many disorders or abnormalities. Although it is thicker than any area of the skin, toenails can also be excessively bulky due to several different factors. So what causes thick toenails?
Having very thick toenails is actually considered an ailment. Fortunately, most of its causes are treatable or manageable. However, it is important for us to immediately inform a dermatologist or nail experts once this kind of symptom is experienced or noticed. The earlier the treatment will start, the better the prognosis will be. One of the most common factors that can lead to thick toenails is due to fungal infection. In fact, 11% of North Americans suffer from this kind of condition. Although it is treatable, fungal infection is also considered to be highly contagious, which is why attention must be sought right away.
Toenail fungus or medically known as onychomycosis is recognized as the most common cause of thick toenails. This can be associated with the easy contraction of the disease. One we walk barefoot in any place, we are already at high risk of obtaining the said infection. This can also be transmitted by wearing infected foot items by other people such as socks and shoes. This can be first observed by the appearance of brown and white spots on the nails. Once the fungus is left unmanaged, it can turn the toenail thick as well as discolor it. Severe cases can also cause the toenails to become brittle and can also detach the nail from the toes. Some fungi can also be resistant to treatment once it has already deeply infected the toes; however, oral antifungal medication is said to be efficient in alleviating the main culprit.
Aside from fungal infection, genetics can also be the reason of having thick toenails. Just like the popular saying, toenails can also run in the family. Unfortunately, if this is indeed the cause of our toenail thickening, then there is actually nothing that we can do in order to treat it. In other words, thick toenails are already programmed in the genes, which can be passed down from generation to generation.
Ingrown toenails can also be associated with thick toenails. Experts say that both of these conditions usually come hand in hand. Once thick toenails are present it is also highly likely for us to have ingrown toenails. As we all know, ingrown nails tend to form due to the growth of nails into the skin. This causes thick toenails to collide in front of the toe. Cutting the nails too short can also be a factor of having ingrown nails as well as rounding the edges of the nail and wearing inappropriate or unfitted size of shoes.
These are just some of the most common causes of thick toenails. Having this kind of toenail problem is not only unattractive to look at, but it can also cause pain and discomfort in our toes.