The most common cause of thick toenails is a fungus infection similar or identical to the fungus that causes “athlete’s foot.” The nail usually takes on a yellowish cast and may be difficult to cut. The problem usually becomes painful when closed shoes are worn since the thick nail is pressed down into the skin underneath. Although the big toe (hallux) is most commonly affected, the nails of the other toes are also often involved.
In some cases, this problem may be best treated with oral and/ or topical antifungal medicine. In other cases, Laser surgery may be the best option. There are two corrective methods commonly used at Laser Foot Surgery Center. The more common one involves aiming the Laser at the nail plate and nail root in an effort to kill the fungus germs so the nail plate will grow out normally.
In more severe cases, the affected thick toenail is removed and a chemical is used to dissolve the entire nail root so that the thickened nail will not grow back. No skin incisions are made using either technique.