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Thickened Toe Nails

The normal toe nail is thin. When the toenail thickens, it indicates that there is a medical condition that needs to be addressed. Usually associated with thickened toe nails are a discoloration of the nail, turning it yellow or brownish. The nail can also appear pitted or start to split. In some cases, depending on the cause, there may be a bad smell. Cause The most common reason for thickened toe nails is a fungal infection. Treatment and Prevention Generally, the types of fungi that attack the nail are opportunistic in nature, meaning that they only attack when the body’s health status is starting to worsen. For example, if the immune system is not fed properly with enough protein or the correct fats in the diet, then the immune system cannot do its work and ward off these fungi. Toenail fungus that causes thickened toe nails can be highly communicable as well, in showers or nail tools that are shared with others. If one person has the infection and gives you their nail file, you can end up with the infection. The most common place to pick up these infections is the showers at the health club or local pool. Toenail fungus is treated with topical ointments over a long period of time because often the fungal infection has extended down to the level of the nail bed. In cases of immune-compromised patients, oral medication may be necessary. Good foot hygiene is especially important in treating thickened toe nails. After washing feet daily, dry the feet properly, including the area between the toes. Always wear clean socks. To Clear up a Dis-colored Nail, Spenco Here2Clear Nail Therapy can assist. Avoiding ill-fitting shoes is also very important.