Fungal, Difficult, & Thickened Toenails

There are many causes for thick toenails to develop, from fungal infections to diabetes or physical trauma. If left untreated, thick toenails are unsightly and can become painful, affecting other toes too. We can help you treat the affected toenail.

Why do toenails thicken?

Generally, our toenails thicken and harden naturally as we age, but the thickening can occur at any age too.

When toenail thickening occurs in younger people, it is most commonly due to infection or injury.

A fungal infection will likely make the toenail turn yellow or brown before it starts thickening. In addition, fungal infections often have a foul smell and may cause fluid to collect under the toenail.

Injury or physical trauma from everyday activities that put pressure on the toenails is an apparent cause of toenail thickening. For example, runners and avid walkers are susceptible to developing thickened toenails from the continual striking of the nail against the shoe, causing it to separate from the nail bed.

Thickened toenails can be painful and difficult to cut, and they can increase one’s susceptibility to infection.

Often, the fungal infection occurs secondary to trauma. The fungal spores take advantage of the weakened state of the nail and the nail bed. This is known as an adventitious fungal infection.

Check Before You Treat

Are you certain that you have a fungal nail infection?

Make sure to test before seeking treatment. 

What causes toenails to thicken?

• Any alteration to the nail plate, nail bed, or root of the nail can result in thickening. This damage may be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause.

• We can add thickened toenails to the changes that occur with age. While it may be simply the accumulation of trauma over time, other factors, such as metabolic change and the reduction of blood flow, also play a role.

• Fungal infections cause thickening toenails, but bacterial infections, which often accompany ingrown toenails, may have the same effect.

• Trauma, whether caused by the dropping of a hammer on the toe or by the imperceptible pressure of a shoe, can result in permanent nail thickening.

• Systemic diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, to name a few, may affect the toenails.

Before Treatment

After Treatment


We offer CLEARANAIL, a new advanced treatment for fungal nail infections. CLEARANAIL enables us to safely create small perforations to the affected toenail to support treatment. 


Discover the power of K-Laser Therapy for your foot pain, fungal and verrucae infections. We are one of a few clinics that offer K-Laser treatment in Cambridgeshire.

Why choose us?

At Cutting Edge Podiatry, we are committed to providing the highest quality foot care services to our patients. Our team of registered and experienced podiatrists has the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat a wide range of foot conditions, including thickened toenails and fungal infections. We use the latest technology and techniques to ensure you receive the best care possible.

If you are suffering from unsightly thickened toenails, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment. We will work with you to alleviate your foot problems and get you back on your feet.

Book Your Podiatry

Book online or call our friendly team on 01223 633 038 to make an appointment with a podiatrist.
No referral required. Our podiatry clinic is located in central Cambridge.

Providing Footcare in Cambridge since 2012

Accessibility: Our clinic has a disabled parking space outside, ground floor treatment rooms, and a ground floor disabled toilet.