Thickening of nails
Thickening of the nails is an unsightly condition that causes pain and can only get worse over time. Today we will look at the main causes, as well as the symptoms and treatments for thickened nails.
There are many potential causes for thickened nails. But if they are known, a person can prevent the formation of thickened nails, as well as cure them quickly and effectively. Therefore, I propose to consider the main reasons why the nail thickens:
Nail psoriasis. One of the most likely causes of thickened nails is psoriasis. And even though psoriasis is more associated with red and scaly patches on the skin, it can also affect fingernails and toenails. In addition to thickening the nails, psoriasis can also weaken the nails and cause the nail plate to separate from the nail bed.
Paronychia. This is an infection of the skin around the nail and can also cause the nails to thicken. Chronic paronychia can not only cause thickening of the toenails or fingernails, but can also lead to a change in their color. Frequent dishwashing, finger sucking, careless cuticle trimming, etc. can cause chronic paronychia. This condition can be complicated by bacterial or fungal infections.
Aging. The older we get, the slower our body renews itself, and this affects our nails as well. The thickening applies specifically to the toenails. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure or effective treatment for thickened nails due to aging.
Injury. Thickening and brittle nails can occur as a result of a serious injury. But, in general, even small, but often recurring injuries to the toenails can cause thickening. Sometimes, this condition is mistaken for a fungal infection. Athletes, especially track and field athletes and football enthusiasts are more at risk of thickened toenails due to repetitive injuries. In such cases, you will notice that the big toe nail has become thicker than the rest, because it is most often injured.
Fungal infection. Onychomycosis (a fungal infection) is one of the most likely factors for thickening nails.
Poor blood circulation. If you have thick nails, then even poor circulation to your toes can be the cause. The disruption of blood flow to the toenails deprives them of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. This problem is mostly diagnosed in diabetic patients. A fungal infection can appear as a complication that causes the toenails to become thicker.
Lupus. Thickened, exfoliating nails can also be triggered by lupus. In severe cases, even complete loss of the nail is possible.
Symptoms of a thickened nail
In the early stages, thickening of the nail may occur imperceptibly. But as your nails get thicker, you may find several symptoms, such as:
- Brittle, easily broken nails
- Nail smells bad
- Nails are separated from the nail bed
- Difficulty trimming and filing nails
- Nails exfoliate
- Debris and dirt get stuck under the nails
- Pain appears
- Changing the color of the nail
Treatment of thickened nails
While I recommend seeing a doctor to determine the exact cause of the thickened nails and prescribe the right treatment, you can also try some folk remedies for thickened nails, if needed.
Tea tree oil. Mix water with tea tree oil and soak your feet in this mixture for about 20 minutes. You must repeat this procedure at least twice a day to see results.
Garlic. Garlic is a popular folk remedy for many ailments and may be beneficial for thickened toenails as well. You can apply garlic oil mixed with an equal amount of white vinegar to the affected nail or alternatively eat a couple of garlic cloves a day to reap its full benefits.
Mouthwash. To treat a thickened nail, you can also use a regular mouthwash. It contains alcohol and several other ingredients that work together as a powerful antiseptic. Soak your feet in a mixture of equal parts mouthwash and vinegar mixed with water for about 30 minutes. Afterwards, rinse and dry your feet thoroughly. The procedure can be repeated at least twice a day until the infection is gone.
Coconut oil. It is believed that coconut oil contains fatty acids that integrate and destroy the membrane of the fungus, replacing it with itself. Apply coconut oil on the affected area and let it absorb well. To see a significant improvement in symptoms, you should do this at least twice a day.
Apple vinegar. Mix it with water in equal amounts and soak your nails in this mixture for half an hour. You will notice an improvement in the condition of your nails in 14-15 days.
Baking soda. Because of the alkaline nature of baking soda, it can be used to prevent the growth and spread of fungus. First, soak your feet in a mixture of vinegar and water. And then soak them in a mixture of water and baking soda to inhibit the growth and reproduction of fungus, which can be the cause of thickened nails. Repeat the procedure twice a day.
How to prevent thickening nails
First of all, you need to know how to prevent the conditions that lead to this. It is recommended to keep your feet and shoes dry and wear socks made from natural fabrics that absorb sweat. If you're used to having a pedicure at a salon, then make sure you visit one that provides high hygiene. Nail fungus and bacterial infections spread easily through untreated tools.
If you exercise regularly, then try to avoid foot injuries by wearing proper shoes that are not too loose or too tight. Don't be barefoot in public places.
If your working conditions are fraught with chronic paronychia, which can lead to thickening of the toenails, wear protective gloves while working and keep your toes as dry as possible.
So, we have talked about the main causes and home remedies for thickened nails. But it is worth remembering that folk remedies will not replace medical treatment. The right way to treat them depends entirely on the underlying cause of the thickened nails. And for sure, only an experienced doctor can install it. Be healthy and beautiful! :)