Thick Toenails: Causes & Treatment (Home Remedies)

Thick Toenails

Thick Toenails Having thick toenails is one of the most uncomfortable things one can experience especially when wearing shoes. Sometimes it can be painful if it is due to an infection. Some of the symptoms include yellowing, swelling, inflammation or thickening of the nail. As we grow old, our toenails will naturally thicken and harden. However, this might happen even to the young people.

What Causes Thick Toenails?

One can develop thick toenails due to various reasons which include:

  1. Injury by either dropping something heavy on the nail or heating your toes on a hard surface.
  2. Fungal infection due to the fungus that brings about the athlete foot that can easily eat away at your toenails leaving them thick.
  3.  Medical conditions like diabetes can lead to poor circulation of blood to the toes hence the nails will not receive the required nutrients for proper growth. Cancer, eczema and arthritis are other diseases that can have their effects lead to thick toenails.
  4. Naturally, as we grow old, our toenails will thicken and harden due to diminishing blood circulation to the toes.
  5. Poor health due to inadequate nutrition will also lead to thick toenails. The toenails will not get enough required nutrients.
  6. Repetitively putting on not well fitting shoes. Tight shoes will have your toenails rubbing against them leading to an irritation.

Can I get rid of the thick toenails without seeing the doctor?

Yes, you can get rid of those thick toenails by trying out any of the following natural home remedies:

  1.  Carefully using nail cutters and nail files to grind down your thick nails. If you are unable to do this, you can get a specialist to do it for you.

2. Use of tea tree essential oils.

Tea tree is a natural disinfectant that posses anti-bacterial and fungicidal properties required for toenail fungus treatment. This can be mixed with orange oil and grape seed or olive oil and then by using cotton balls, you can press it firmly on the affected toenail and let it dry naturally. Alternatively, you mix the tea tree oil with water and soak your feet in the mixture for some minutes. This must be done atleast twice a day to see results.

3. Use of baking soda and vinegar that is easily available in most of our kitchens.

Due to the alkaline nature of baking soda, it can be used to prevent the growth and spread of fungus. Remember fungus flourish more in acidic environments. You will soak your feet in a mixture of vinegar and water first. Then afterwards soak them in a mixture of water and baking soda to inhibit the growth and multiplication of the fungus. You need to do this twice a day.

4. Use of coconut oil.

Coconut oil is believed to contain fatty acids that integrate and destroys the fungus membrane by inserting themselves in the lipid layer of the fungus membrane hence disturbing it Rub coconut oil on the affected area and let it be absorbed. You have to do this 2-3 times a day.

5. Use of Listerine Mouth wash

which contains alcohol as well as several other compounds that act as a strong antiseptic to keep away fungi and bacteria. You will put equal portions of this mouth wash with vinegar in a basin of water, then soak your feet for about 30 minutes. After this, you scrub the affected toenails gently then rinse and dry. You can repeat this twice a day until the infection clears.

Before using the above home remedies, here are some tips:

  1.  Disinfect your nail clipper and file to avoid re-infecting the same toenail or spreading the infection to other toenails
  2.  Trim back as much of the affected nails as you can by using a clean nail clipper. Ensure you don’t peel with your fingers as you might end up breaking the whole toenail.
  3.  Rinse your feet in warm water and part them dry with a clean towel.
  4.  Put on well fitting shoes. If left untreated, thick toenails can lead to cracking, splitting and even losing the toenail. Most of these home treatments will improve the appearance of your thick toenails but will not address all the underlying issues especially if it is due to a health issue.


You need to fully establish the cause of your thick toenails as the correct way to get rid of them will entirely depend on the underlying cause.

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