Is It a Thickened Toenail or Fungal Toenail?

psychological effects of toenail fungus HoustonNail fungus treatment is something that many people contend with, on a daily basis. Prior to treatment, some of these same individuals experienced thickening of one or more of their toenails. This, along with other symptoms, prompted them to do something to remedy the problem.

Thick toenails alone, without the presence of other signs of fungal nail infection, can be the result of something else. First, to briefly reiterate, additional signs of nail fungus include:

  • A nail that is separating from the nail bed (skin) underneath
  • Debris under the nail
  • A bad odor
  • Redness and swelling
  • Yellowing nails

Causes of Thick Toenails

In truth, there are several other causes of thick toenails. The number one cause is typically some form of nail trauma such as dropping something heavy on the toe.

The little toe is often subject to thickening. This is the result of wearing shoes that are too tight. The technical name for the issue is micro-trauma. If you wear slip-on shoes, this type of trauma is more likely to occur. Changing footwear styles is recommended.

Treatment for Thick Toenails Instead of Nail Fungus Treatment

There are three common treatments for thick toenails. They include:

  • Filing
  • Drilling
  • Removing the nail

Obviously, filing the nail is the easiest (most pain-free) method. It’s best to do so on a completely dry nail, at least once a week. File the nail from top to bottom, not left to right.

Drilling down a thick toenail is also relatively pain-free. It doesn’t take long to accomplish. However, it’s a task that your podiatrist needs to undertake. A small drill is used to slowly decrease the thickness of the nail.

In extreme cases, removal of the nail may be necessary. This is performed using a light anesthesia. A chemical is sometimes used in conjunction with the removal, so the nail doesn’t grow back.

As you can see, having a thickened toenail doesn’t always mean that you have a fungal nail infection. So, there’s absolutely no reason to panic! Thoroughly check your toes for the other signs noted above.

That being said, it’s important to get a diagnosis, one way or the other, as quickly as possible. If it is toenail fungus, it won’t go away on its own. The longer it goes untreated, the worse it gets and the harder it is to get rid of.

No, nail fungus treatment isn’t desirable. But, it’s the only way to get back on the road to prettier, healthy, feet.

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