Toenail problems

Simple toenail cutting


Thickened toenails

Thickened toenails may be caused by damage to the nail; this might be due to a single blow, such as stubbing the toe or dropping something on it, or it may be caused by repetitive minor pressure on the nail, often from footwear or due to the toe position. Thickened toenails may also be related to certain skin conditions, or may be due to infection, especially fungal infection.

As well as being difficult to cut, thickened toenails can be painful, especially if your shoes press on them; or, maybe, you feel that your thickened nails are unsightly.

We can reduce the thickness of these nails,which eases any pain and makes the nails more aesthetically pleasing.


Fungal nail infection

Fungal infection is very common in the toenails. It can affect just one of the nails, but may involve several or all of them.

Fungal nail infection causes the nails to becomed thickened, dicoloured, and crumbly. It can spread, and you could pass it on to other people.

It does not always cause pain, but people can find affected nails difficult to manage and often, they find them unsightly.

It is caused by microscopic, airborne fungi that 'feed' on keratin, the protein that makes up your skin, nails and hair. You can simply 'pick it up'; it's rather like the way a bowl of fruit will eventually become mouldy, even though you did nothing to cause it! You are more likely to get it if you have damaged your nail, have been in contact with someone who has a fungal infection, or if you have health problems that make you more susceptible to infections.

Fungal nail infection can be difficult to treat, but can be improved with special paints and/or tablets.

Ingrowing toenails

An ingrowing toenail develops when the side of the nail pierces through the surrounding skin. It can be very painful, and often is accompanied by reddness, swelling and infection.

It is often the result of poor nail cutting technique, though it can be caused by ill-fitting shoes or socks, injury, or may occur in people whose nails naturally curve a lot at the sides.

You should arrange a podiatry appointment as soon as possible, as ingrowing toenails rarely get better by themselves; the spike of nail must be removed, or the condition just gets progressively worse. If it is seen early enough, we may be able to simply remove the nail spike with little discomfort. If it is more painful, we can use a local anaesthetic to do this. If this problem keeps recurring, or it is very severe, you may consider having a thin strip of nail surgically removed. This is performed in the clinic under local anaesthetic, and patients are usually surprised how little pain they experience following the procedure. It usually offers a permanent solution to the problem. For more information, see our leaflet, Information for patients undergoing toenail surgery.


To make an appointment, phone us on 01392 211066 or go to  to book online!