Thick Second Toenail

by Parv

Hi there,

I had a fungal infection on three toe nails (after a bad pedicure). Two of the three were completely cured with Penlac (in 2010). The other pesky one (my second toe) still looks awful (discoloured, thick, crumbly, and often painful when it grows in). I had it lasered in 2013 - the post-laser test came back clear although it never grew back any different. And recently (early 2015) I had another test done (from a local podiatrist) and it came back negative.

The podiatrist claims there's no fungus and that the nail bed is just permanently damaged. He drilled it down. When he drilled it, it started to bleed right in the middle of this thickened nail (through the nail and not the skin - it was bizarre because it hurt as if he was cutting into my skin but when I looked at it the blood was coming through the nail). And the sides crumbled off. So now I have half the nail I thought I had. I don't know if I should keep treating it as a fungus or what to do. The podiatrist was convinced there's no fungus but he told me I could still try a treatment called Jubilia if I want to. I don't know what to do. I like to wear open shoes in the summer and paint my nails but it's so unsightly and embarrassing the way the nail looks. I am afraid to have it surgically removed in case it does not grow back again. I'd rather have a thick nail that I can cover with nail polish than no nail at all.

Lately (for the last 2 weeks) I have been religiously applying tea tree oil. I will continue to do that, but I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think I should do? I just came across your web site and you seem to be much more knowledgeable than any doctor or podiatrist I've gone to! Thank you very much for sharing this information. I wish I could show you this nail in person to have your opinion on it, but I'm in Canada.


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Feb 12, 2017

by: Dominic

Wow, there was certainly a lot of treatments applied there :)

The second toenail is commonly a thick nail.

See how your toe looks compared to the big toe, and others.

- is it longer than the first
- does it curl?

If so, then it is probably thickening up because of trauma. Unfortunately there is little you can do about this:

- have it removed fully and then have a false nail applied
- thin it down on a regular basis
- apply nail paint to it anyway.

It bled probably because of 2 things:
1- it is slightly involuted
2- it is thick

Both pull up the nail bed closer to the surface and if you file to close then it bleeds.

If you used laser, and Penlac I am unsure if Tea Tree Oil will do any better.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.