Dealing with Thickened Nails
Nails are made from the same protein which makes up skin and hair known as keratin. Keratinisation, is the name given to the development of nails where cells multiply at the base of the nail and layer on top of each other before hardening. The shape, thickness, strength and growth rate of our nails is inherited from our parents however, lifestyle factors and events can contribute to the development of thickened nails. Increase in age is not necessarily the reason for the thickening of nails but does result in the likelihood of more life events and lifestyle factors influencing the presence of the pathology.
The following is a number of situations which can lead to the thickening of toe nails;
Trauma: Is the most common cause of nail thickening and can be associated with light repetitive causes or one significant blow. Habitual nail picking, sporting activities and footwear choices can all lead to trauma which may develop into nail thickening.
Fungal Infection: can lead to lifting of a nail from the nail plate and the thickening of the nail plate. Infections such as tinea can be transferred from one person to another with diabetics being at increased risk of developing an infection.
Physiological Changes: diseases of the lungs, kidneys, heart, liver and the thyroid can all lead to changes in nail quality, shape, colour and thickness as vitamins and hormones become unbalanced ending in change to the toe nails.
Nail thickness can be an irritation at best and a painful situation at worse but treatment of the condition can be addressed by your podiatrist with specialized tools designed specifically for the reduction of nail thickness and further education of useful products which may help further after an initial assessment and diagnosis. It is highly suggested that you seek professional advice before spending money on over the counter products.
Until Next Time,