Studies have shown that 75% of people complain their toenails are hard and difficult to cut, particularly as they get older.

What causes toenails to become thick and hard?

Thickening of the toenails can result from increased cell production and or slower nail growth.

If the speed of cell turnover within the nail is increased the toenails become thicker as more cells are laid down. This can occur if the toenails are subjected to pressure or rubbing from footwear. In order to protect the tissues from any additional pressure or rubbing, the body reacts by creating thicker protective layers of nail (in much the same way that skin reacts to form a callus). The pressure on the toenails may be due to ill-fitting footwear or may be due to repetitive minor trauma as a result of sporting activities where the toenails may be repeatedly banged against the shoe.

If the speed of nail growth decreases then more cells will build up, causing the nail to become thicker. This can be due to a number of factors including age, disease or malnutrition.

Who suffers from thick hard toenails?

Thick hard toenails can affect many people who experience trauma to the nails or slowing of the nail growth.

Men & Women: Both sexes can be affected by thick hard toenails and research suggest that men and women are affected approximately equally.

Range of ages: Thick hard toenails affects adults of all ages. Older people may experience more problems as nail growth slows down.

Active people: As thickening of the nail can be attributed to repetitive minor trauma, thick hard toenails can be a problem for active sports people.

Read more about thick hard nails here.

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