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April 10, 2024

What Are Thick Toenails?

thick toenail

Thick, discolored toenails can arise from cutting the edges of the nail improperly, tight-fitting shoes, nail trauma, fungal nail infection, and age. Conditions like thick pinky toenail or thick toenail fungus can be particularly troublesome, requiring specialized care.

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How We Treat Thick Toenails

developing thick toenails

We will schedule an initial consultation to review the thick toenail talk about any concerns, or other issues, and discuss the medical background and lifestyle of the patient.

After considering these things, Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists will decide what route of thick toenail treatment is best, whether that is conservative treatment and lifestyle changes or a surgical procedure.

Conservative Thick Toenail Treatment Options


Wear larger or wider shoes to decrease the amount of friction and rubbing between your toenail and the top of the shoe. This should help alleviate some of the discomfort involved with thick toenails. Toenail clippers for thick nails can also be beneficial in managing the condition effectively.


nail clippers

Keep your toenails trimmed appropriately, with the edges cut straight across to avoid ingrown toenails that can further exacerbate the issue of the thick toenail. Thick toenail clippers are recommended for effective trimming.


Topical softening agents can help with the trimming of extremely thick nails. Anti-fungal medication can be an option as well to treat or rule out discoloration and you can use tea tree oil as well.

Testing a nail sample can help confirm this, especially if there's thick white stuff under the toenail indicating nail psoriasis or fungal infection.

Surgical Treatment for Thick Toenails

ingrown toenail treatment

In some cases, the thick toenail can be surgically removed to relieve pressure and eliminate the infected tissue underneath. Topical anti-fungal medication is then applied until the nail completely returns.

If the toenail thickness and pain persist, a chemical can be applied to the nail root and prevent the nail from returning. The use of a toenail grinder for thick toenails might be recommended post-surgery for maintenance.

Including best toenail clippers for thick nails and toenail clippers for thick toenails for seniors in your foot care routine can make managing thick toenails more manageable, especially for those dealing with thick pinky toenail fungus or just a pinky toenail thick issue.

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Insurance Coverage for Thick Toenail Treatment

Understanding your insurance coverage is crucial when seeking treatment for thick toenails. At Modern Foot and Ankle Specialists, we recognize the importance of making our services accessible and affordable. Our practice accepts a wide range of insurance plans, see the list of plans we accept on our Insurance page.

We work closely with insurance providers to ensure that treatments for thick toenails, including consultations, conservative care, and surgical options, are covered to the extent possible under your plan.

It's essential to verify your coverage beforehand, as insurance policies vary, and some treatments may require pre-authorization or be subject to deductibles and co-pays.

Our administrative team is here to assist you with any questions regarding your insurance coverage and to help navigate the complexities of insurance claims, making your path to relief and recovery as smooth as possible.

Why Choose Us

Choosing the right specialist for treating thick toenails is vital to achieving the best outcomes. At Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists, we are dedicated to providing top-tier care, backed by expertise, advanced treatment options, and a patient-centered approach. Here are the reasons why we stand out:

Expertise and Experience

Our team is comprised of specialists with years of experience diagnosing and treating a wide range of toenail conditions, including thick toenails, nail fungal infections, and ingrown nails. Our knowledge ensures accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plans tailored to each patient.

Advanced Treatment Technologies

We utilize the latest advancements in podiatric medicine, from state-of-the-art surgical techniques to innovative conservative treatments, ensuring our patients have access to the best care options.

Comprehensive Care

We offer a full spectrum of toenail treatments, from non-invasive remedies like topical medications and lifestyle adjustments to advanced surgical procedures, ensuring comprehensive care for every condition.

Patient-Centered Approach

Understanding that each patient’s needs and conditions are unique, we prioritize personalized care, taking the time to listen to your concerns, evaluate your condition thoroughly, and craft a treatment plan that aligns with your lifestyle and goals.

Education and Prevention

Beyond treating toenail fungus current conditions, we emphasize the importance of prevention and education, providing resources and guidance to help patients maintain healthy nails and prevent future issues.

In Summary

  1. Thick toenails can be a source of discomfort and concern, arising from various factors such as fungal toenail infection, trauma, or genetic predisposition.
  2. At Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists, we provide a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating thick toenails, offering everything from conservative care to advanced surgical options.
  3. Understanding insurance coverage is essential, and our team is here to help navigate your benefits for optimal care. Our practice stands out for its expertise, advanced treatments, patient-centered approach, and commitment to education and prevention.
  4. Whether you're dealing with nail fungus, nail bed issues, yellow nail syndrome, or simply seeking thick toenail treatment, our goal is to restore your nails to health, ensuring comfort and confidence.
  5. Emphasizing the importance of early treatment for conditions like fungal nail infections and ingrown toenails, we invite you to visit our website and discover why Moore Foot and Ankle Specialists is the preferred choice for managing and treating thick toenails and other podiatric conditions.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.


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Are thick toenails always fungus?

No, thick toenails are usually not fungus. The toenail root responds to pressure by growing a nail plate that is thicker and sometimes detached from the nail bed toenails — a place where the fungus can hide and grow, leading to conditions like one thick toenail or thick yellow toenail.

What causes toenails to thicken and turn yellow?

Toenails thicken and turn yellow due to pressure and the nail root or ‘matrix’ reacting to protect the body with a thicker nail that can take more trauma. The yellow color can come from nail polish remover or the inherent color of the protein ‘alpha keratin.’

Why do toenails thicken as you get older?

Toenails thicken as you get older due to the amount of time, pressure, and restrictive shoes over the years.

How do you keep toenails from thickening as you age?

Although you cannot prevent your thickened toenails from nail thickening as you age, your genetics and shoe pressure contribute the most to the thickness.

Why does fungus make toenails thick?

The fungus does not make the toenails thick; the pressure, type of injury, and patient’s genetics determine how thick the nails will grow, resulting in conditions like thick black toenail or thick skin under toenail.

How do you get rid of thick toenails?

To get rid of thick toenails, regular trimming and filing to thin the nail are recommended. Medicated nail creams or ointments may also help soften the nail. In severe cases, a podiatrist might perform a procedure to carefully thin the nail or recommend laser treatment.

Can thick toenails be thinned?

Yes, thick toenails can be thinned through careful trimming and filing. A podiatrist can also offer professional thinning treatments, which may include the use of specialized tools or laser therapy to reduce the nail's thickness without causing damage.

What is the white hard stuff under my toenails?

The white hard stuff under toenails is often keratin buildup, the protein that nails are made of. This buildup can occur due to the nail detaching from the nail bed, allowing debris to accumulate underneath.

How do you get rid of keratin buildup under your toenails?

Keratin buildup under toenails can be reduced by gently cleaning the area under the nail. Soaking the feet in warm water to soften the nails and using a soft brush can help remove the buildup. For persistent cases, a podiatrist may need to clean the area professionally.

How do you get rid of thick toenails naturally?

Thick toenails can be managed naturally by soaking the feet in a mixture of warm water and Epsom salts, which helps to soften the nails and make them easier to trim. Applying natural oils, such as tea tree oil, can also moisturize the nail and combat any underlying fungal conditions. Regular, gentle filing to keep the nails thin and manageable is also beneficial.

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