Do you have Thick, Discoloured Toenails?
Thick, Discoloured Toenails May Be A Sign or a Deeper Issue
Healthy toenails should be thin and slightly translucent, but if your toes have experienced trauma or if you have a fungal infection, your toenails may become thick and discoloured. Thick and discoloured toenails is not a symptom you should ignore, because it can become much worse if left untreated.
A fungal infection in your toe, also known as onychomycosis, can be difficult to cure and may need months of treatment to be corrected. Seeing a medical professional as soon as you notice the thickened or discoloured toenail is crucial to avoid further pain and discomfort.
Causes of Thick, Discoloured Toenails
Thick and discoloured toenails are a very common occurrence for a large portion of the adult population. This condition occurs when a fungus enters the toenail due to trauma, poor hygiene, or just bad luck. Typically, a fungus enters the nail plate one of a few ways:
- Where your toenail and nail bed meet
- In a crack in your toenail
- Through a cut in your skin that touches your toenail
Fungi love wet spaces because moisture helps them spread rapidly. That’s why they typically grow under your toenail, which is a perfect environment for them.
Symptoms of a Nail Fungus
If you notice a change in the thickness of your toenail or notice discolouration and the toe hasn’t suffered any recent trauma, then you could have a nail fungus. In this case, look for:
- Toenails that have changed in colour to yellow or brown
- A foul odour coming off the toenail
- A toenail that can be lifted off the nail bed
- Toenails that have split or crumbled
- Toenails that appear scaly or chalky
- Toenails that have dirt or other debris under them
At first, you may not notice any pain or discomfort during the early stages of the infection. But as the symptoms build, your toenails may start to become more painful.
How to Avoid Nail Fungus
To help prevent a fungal infection and avoid thick and discoloured toenails, make sure to:
- Keep your feet clean
- Spray all of your footwear with an anti-fungal spray, such as Clean Sweep
- Dry your feet off after you shower, bathe or swim
- Keep your feet as dry as possible. If you have a job where you sweat or your work boots or shoes are constantly wet, bring a change of socks
- Try a foot powder that helps to keep your feet dry
- Wear flips flops or shower shoes in locker rooms, public showers and at the pool
- Groom your feet and toenails regularly
- If you’ve recently cured a nail fungus, purchase a new pair of footwear, and throw the old ones out.
Treating a Nail Fungus
A fungal infection may still occur, even if you take excellent care of your feet. If you find yourself with a nail fungus, there are a few treatment options.
- Topical medications
- Oral medications
- Laser treatments
- Surgery to remove the toenail so the nail bed can be treated
- Light treatments such as Genesis or ToeFX
If left untreated, a fungal infection can spread and cause your toenail to grow even thicker and eventually cause daily pain.
Contact the experienced chiropodists at Medical Foot Solutions today if you’re suffering from thick or discoloured toenails. We'll treat your nail fungus and get your feet back to looking and feeling their best.