Why Toenails Thicken With Age And Ways To Prevent This From Occurring
If you have ever had to take an elderly person to the podiatrist for toenail clipping services, you may wonder how a person's toenails can become so thick and yellow. This is a problem that many seniors have, and there are several common reasons it happens. Fortunately, you might be able to prevent this from happening to your feet. Here are several things you should know about thickening and yellowing of toenails.
The Causes Of This Problem
Most young people do not have thick, yellow toenails; however, some do. In most cases, though, it is elderly people that have this problem, and they will typically have to visit a podiatrist to have them clipped. This is because nails like this cannot be clipped with regular clippers. Here are some of the common reasons this happens to people:
- Blood flow – A lack of blood flow can lead to this problem. Toenails require oxygen, which comes through good blood flow. As blood flow decreases and is restricted, the supply of oxygen is cut off. This leads to thick, discolored nails. People with diabetes are typically at a higher risk of this problem, because poor blood flow is a result of unstable blood sugar.
- Fungus – Toenail fungus leaves toenails thick and brittle too, and it can be very hard to get rid of toenail fungus.
- Injuries – When a toenail gets injured, it can also become brittle and thick as it grows back. Multiple injuries to the same toe may increase the chances of the nail thickening.
- Shoes – The shoes people wear can also contribute to the problem. If shoes are too tight or allow too much moisture to develop inside, the toenails may be affected over time.
Toenails do not thicken and turn yellow overnight. It takes time, and this is another reason older people tend to have more problems with their nails—they've had time.
Ways You Can Prevent This Issue
If you do not want to develop this problem at any point in your lifetime, you should start taking good care of your feet, your body, and your health. You can begin by choosing the right types of shoes. Choosing shoes that are comfortable and supportive is a good place to start. Secondly, you should try to avoid injuries to your feet. If possible, wear protective shoes when handling heavy objects that could get dropped on your feet.
Keeping your feet clean and your toenails trimmed are also important steps. Good hygiene will help you keep bacteria away from your toes, and this could help you prevent developing conditions that can lead to toenail issues, such as toenail fungus. When you clip your nails, be sure to keep them trimmed straight across so they are even, and do not cut them too short.
One good habit to have is spraying anti-fungal spray in your shoes daily, and this is especially important for gym shoes. This type of spray will kill any fungus that may be living in your shoes, and this can prevent your nails from getting infected. You could also soak your feet in a mixture of warm water and four or five tablespoons of apple cider vinegar once a week. Apple cider vinegar will kill bacteria on your feet and will help keep your feet as healthy as possible.
Your health also plays a big role in this problem. If you can keep your weight normal, exercise regularly, and keep any health conditions under control, you will have a better chance of keeping your toenails in good condition for your entire life.
Podiatrists specialize in foot problems, and they can help you with any conditions you may have. They can also help you find ways to prevent conditions with your feet. To learn more, contact a clinic like Laurel Podiatry Associates, LLC.