Pizza is, quite possibly, one of the most appealing foods on the planet.
One of the charms of pizza is the sheer variety of forms it comes in:
toppings of all sorts from gourmet cheeses to asparagus to sausage, a huge
assortment of sauces (garlic, tomato, alfredo), variations like dessert
pizza, and more! Sadly, there are some who would make of the noble pizza a
war zone. Raging battles have been fought (kind of), brave men and women
have given their lives (in a metaphorical sense) over the Great Pizza
Question: whether it’s better to have thick crust or thin.
Now, nails do nicely with a moderate sort of thickness. Get a nail too
thin, and it’s likely to be brittle and break, or be prone to injury. But
if a toenail gets too thick, it becomes difficult to trim, can bump
painfully against the inside of your shoes, and it can also look kind of
awful and be pretty embarrassing.
Thick toenails don’t come about because someone’s clamoring for a deep dish
pizza. But there are several other possible causes if your toenails start
to thicken up. (If they start to grow pepperoni and olives, there probably
isn’t any good explanation at all.) Fungal infection of the toenail,
psoriasis, hypothyroidism, bone spurs growing under the nail, and just
plain old aging may all cause your toenails to bulk up, and they usually
bring along other sets of symptoms as well. Or, if you’ve had trauma to the
toe, your nail may fall off and simply grow in a bit thicker than it was
Symptoms that may accompany thickened toenails really depend on the cause.
For instance, fungal infections of the nail tend to make the nail look
yellowed, brittle, and foul-smelling. If psoriasis is causing your nails’
thickening, you may also have patches of irritated skin (usually reddish,
or silvery and flaky) on other parts of your body. Your nails may also
develop pits or dents in the surface, and may come away from the nail bed.
You may even develop psoriatic arthritis, which can feel a lot like
rheumatoid arthritis. Hypothyroidism may be accompanied by weight gain,
fatigue, feeling cold, and depression, among other symptoms.
Whether your podiatrist prefers thin crust or thick has really very little
bearing on his or her ability to diagnose the cause of your thickened
toenails (even though pizza preferences can make a fun conversational
topic). So, instead of asking you about your personal pizza likes and
dislikes, your podiatrist will probably inquire about your symptoms, such
as when your nails started thickening, whether there are any other
symptoms, etc. He or she will also take a look at your toenails to
determine a likely cause. If your podiatrist suspects a fungal infection,
he or she will likely get a scraping of your toenail for analysis.
Obviously, the treatment associated with your thickened toenails depends on
the cause. Fungal infections can be treated with topical (applied directly
to the nail) or oral anti-fungal medications. Psoriasis usually involves
ointments and creams, oral medications or injections, phototherapy (careful
exposure to ultraviolet light), and techniques for reducing stress (which
may cause a flare-up). Hyperthyroidism is usually treated with oral
Some causes of thickened toenails may require surgery to relieve your
symptoms. Your podiatrist can discuss all treatment options with you.
(Unfortunately, if your thickened nails are caused by aging, there really
isn’t a cure for getting older, but your podiatrist may recommend a few
things if your nails are making you uncomfortable.)
There are a few things you can do to prevent some causes of toenail
thickness. To maintain healthy nails, you’ll want to do the following:
- Keep your feet clean and dry. Wash your feet daily with soap and
away from your foot (synthetic fibers tend to do this better than
cotton or wool). Change your shoes and socks regularly, preferably
more than once a day. Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe
(leather seems to work pretty well).
- Trim your toenails straight across and don’t dig down the sides of the
nail. Keep your toenails trimmed so that they don’t extend beyond your
toe. Also, don’t trim your nails by tearing at them. Use clippers
- Keep your toenail trimmers and other pedicure tools clean and
- Never, ever, ever, put pizza sauce and toppings on your toes. Not that
it’ll hurt them, exactly. It’s just kind of gross.
Call 719-543-2476 today to schedule your appointment!