Thickened toe nails and other nail abnormalities can tell you a lot about your health. They’re often a sign of a fungal nail infection or injury, but can sometimes indicate a more serious underlying disease.
A common cause of thickened toe nails is a fungal nail infection. This can also cause them to discolour and become crumbly.
Other possible causes of thickened or overgrown nails are:
- a single trauma can cause permanent damage to the nail bed, resulting in a thick or distorted nail
- psoriasis, a long-term condition that tends to also cause red, flaky patches of skin
- long-term pressure from shoes that are either too small or too narrow over the toes
- reactive arthritis, where the immune system attacks the joints, muscles and other parts of the body following an infection
Severely overgrown horn-like nails
Sometimes, the big toe nails become so overgrown and thickened that they resemble claws and are almost impossible to cut with conventional nail clippers. This nail disorder is known as onychogryphosis (“ram’s horn nails”), and is seen in older people or as a response to long-term pressure on the nails. Regular chiropody can help, but sometimes the nails need to be removed by a podiatrist.
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We also have a range of other therapies on offer at our Healthpoint premises in Ainsdale, Formby and Maghull.
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