Thickened Nails

Toenails can start to grow much thicker and cause several problems and be uncomfortable and unsightly. For some nails this just happens, following trauma for example. But often the reason for overly thick nails is nail fungus. The fungus lives within the nail structure causing the nail to become ‘honeycombed’ and thicker. The nail becomes weaker, discoloured, brittle and flaky.

Thick toenails can be painful, uncomfortable and tight within shoes. Just having toenails out on show in sandals or flip flops can be embarrassing. Ladies sometimes hide the nails with varnish which only helps the fungus grow and spread.


Nail thickening can happen as a result of every day life, but the issue is usually caused by an underlying fungal infection. You will likely present thickened nails as part of another underlying condition, so it’s essential to keep a check on your nails to make sure they are healthy.

Some of the common symptoms you’ll find alongside thickened nails include:

  • Colour change – either to a more yellow colour or in extreme circumstances even brown or green
  • Nails lifting form the nail bed
  • Nails looking chalky, scaly, or crumbly
  • Pain or discomfort around the nails
  • Nail fungus sometimes smells

If you are caring for someone, it may be difficult to spot a nail issue, and even understand why they are so thick. If you are worried about someone you are caring for, keep an eye out for these common signs:

  • They are ashamed to show their feet
  • Nails too thick to cut
  • Nails look terrible that they hide them with nail varnish


Most thickened nails can be thinned down using an electric burr/grinder specially designed for toenails. This is pain free and your nails look greatly improved after the assessment & treatment appointment. Long term foot health advice to help reduce future problems will be provided. But if nail fungus is the thickened nail cause additional treatment and advice may be required.

Fix your thickened nail problem

Would you like more information on how our nail treatment can help you? Get in touch with our highly trained and knowledgeable team today.

Seven-day, 24 hour telephone appointment booking service

Other feet problems

We Have Moved – Waverley Foot Clinic has changed location to 21A East Street, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7SD (only 100 metres along East Street towards the town)