What is onychauxis?
Onychauxis is a thickening or overgrowth of the nails which can become discoloured turning white, yellow, red and black. It is shown in both the fingernails and toenails and is existent in a number of different ways. If the nails are red and black, it is usually a consequence of dried blood beneath the nail plate; however it could also be a melanoma so it is best to get it checked.
What causes Onychauxis:
– Any Change to the nail plate/root/bed
– Age i.e. metabolic change and poor circulation
– Systematic diseases i.e. psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, poor circulation, diabetes, cancer
– Fungal/bacterial infections
– Trauma/ injury e.g. by dropping something heavy on your toe or repetitive pressure from shoes.
Treatment for Onychauxis:
Treatment of the nail requires addressing the underlying problem that is causing the nail thickening and implementing a special nail care routine to encourage the overgrown nail to grow out so that it can be replaced with a healthy nail. Special nail care routines could include:
– Cut nails carefully. Soak feet in warm water for around 10 minutes and then use nail clippers to cut across the nail. Avoid cracking or splitting as this can result in ingrown toenails. It is recommended that you see a podiatrist to cut your nails, to ensure that the nails get cut properly to avoid getting an ingrown toenail.
– You can soak feet in a bowl of water with 3/4 tablespoons of cider vinegar; 3 times a week to soften the nail before buffing to remove the top layer.
– The thickened nails may need to be reduced by a podiatrist if you are unable to do it yourself. Once this has been done, tea tree oil can be used regularly to keep the nail soft and to avoid infection.
– Soothing care is essential
It is okay to apply a polish to the thickening nails. A clear varnish can help protect the nail and may also smooth the appearance and make the overgrowth less noticeable.
Prevention of Onychauxis:
Proper Nail Trimming: Trim your toenails straight across the upper edge rather than making them around at the top. The rough edges should be smoothened with a file.
Wear Light Shoes: Wear shoes that provide enough space for your toes to breathe. Try wearing open-ted sandals from time to time. This will give space for your toenails and let them grow easily. An injury to the nails can also lead to Onychauxis.
At Mint Foot Care we stock Dr Comfort Footwear which our podiatrist’s measure to your feet. This will ensure that they are a good size allowing your toes to breathe.
If you think you have onychauxis or have any other concerns regarding your feet, call Mint Foot Care today on 1300 975 980 to book your appointment with our podiatrist.