Thick and Fungal Toenails
Thick nails are often associated with the presence of a fungal infection. This is true in many cases, however there are many other causes to thick toenails. Some of these causes include injury to the nails, eczema and psoriasis. Fungal nail infection can be due to trauma over a prolonged period of time (often put down to age) or a sudden traumatic event causing fractures of the nail allowing fungus to settle in.
The presence of a fungal infection is usually means a yellowish or brownish discoloration, thickening of some or all the nail, and in some cases lifting up of the nail from the nail bed. Thick or Fungal nails are generally painless but unsightly.
Treatment of thick toenails involves cutting the nails and reducing the thickness using special instruments a podiatrist has access to. Treatment of fungal nail infections can be difficult and not 100% guaranteed. The main treatments for fungal nails are:
- Oral anti-fungal medications: prescribed by your GP, it is recommended a lab tests confirms this prior to starting oral anti-fungal medications.
- Topical anti-fungal lacquer: is the most popular treatment of choice, and requires persistance over many months. There are many topical treatments available, but some do work better than others.
- Laser Treatment: is very expensive costing $1000 or more but does not guarantee success. It often requires oral and topical treatments with it which means additional expense with no guarantee for success. So is not recommended as an option for our patients.