So, when did you last trim your toenails? I bet you can barely remember.
Well, you are not alone in this! Most of us either give little or no thought to our toenails.
So we will take a deep dive into how to soften toenails.
A Must-Read: How to Cut Toenails if You Can’t Reach Them
This means that they are one of the most neglected parts of our bodies.
Still, the toenails play a very critical role in protecting our toe tips.
Typically, a certain uniformity of thickness comes with both toenails and fingertips.
However, as we age, the thickness tends to vary from one person to the other.
Nail Softening Cream with 60% Ultra Aloe is the perfect natural product to soften your nails.
Unusually, thickened nails are pretty unsightly.
Even worse, they can pose a real problem when it’s time for trimming.
Sometimes, the process can be too painful and difficult to cope with.
And besides that, there is often a risk of getting ingrown nails which may later lead to infections.
This usually happens when we fail to properly care for our nails since they tend to curve in and grow into our skin.
We need to learn some tricks to cut the thick nails with less difficulty.
Therefore, today I will analyze the best ways to soften thick nails before cutting them. Shall we?
There is a wide variety of reasons for nail thickening.
Nail thickening occurs due to changes in the nail bed, nail root, and nail plate.
However, in other cases, it may be due to some medical conditions or even infections that may directly connect to nail thickening.
Today, more than 20% of the adult population suffers from a condition known as onychomycosis.
This condition occurs when there is the entry of either yeast or fungus in the toenail.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 common reasons for nail thickening.
This is one of the major causes of thickened toenails. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes the skin to have red and scaly patches.
This disorder can affect either the fingernails or toenails.
In most cases, the condition not only makes your toenails thicken but also loosely attached to the nail bed.
Psoriasis patients are likely to develop ridges on their toenails, and when not cut properly, they can easily break.
Yeast and Fungal Infections
Fungal infections are one of the significant reasons for thickened nails.
The fungal infections grow in the toenails since they thrive best in moist and warm environments.
Get ahead of your yeast or fungal infections by using anti-fungal soap.
Bacterial infections are more prone to affect ingrown nails. Hence, leading to nail thickening.
The worst thing about fungus infections is that they are highly contagious and could be easily spread when you share nail trimming clippers with an infected person.
This is a common cause for people actively involved in vigorous sports exercises.
This includes the dancers, runners, and soccer players, among others.
In other cases, this affects even the people who have ill-fitting shoes.
When the shoes are too tight, they tend to strain the toenails.
This is a common scenario, and in fact, most people tend to mistake thickened nails for fungal infections.
The Yellow Nail Syndrome
Yellow nail syndrome is one of the least likely causes of thick toenails.
Still, it can be one of the primary reasons someone has unusually thick toenails.
The yellow nail syndrome causes the nails to be thick, yellow, and excessively curved.
Patients suffering from yellow nail syndrome often have issues with their respiratory system, swelling in the legs and arms.
This is because of the excess fluid build-up they experience in the limbs and around the lungs.
Although doctors still don’t know the exact cause of yellow nail syndrome, most people believe this is a condition that might strongly connect to someone’s genetics.
Meaning it can be inherited from your parents.
Last but not least, a person’s age could also be one of the significant contributors to thickened nails.
This is because, as we grow older, our bodies become slower in renewing themselves like they did when we were younger.
This is a common issue with the toenails, but there is a chance it could affect the fingernails too.
In this case, the nails tend to become unusually hard and thick. Sometimes they could form ridges as a result of aging.
This condition is not treatable, but the nails could be buffed out to smoothen them up slightly.
Suppose you are wondering how then this next part is for you. Pay close attention!
If you’ve ever had thick and hard toenails, I bet you understand the kind of hassle you need to go through when it’s time to trim them.
However, if you work on making them softer before the trimming process, cutting will be less of a painful process for you.
Most people with hard toenails are likely to break them when it’s time to make the trims.
This especially applies to people who either have diabetes or have had poor lower limb circulation.
Therefore, you should first soften the nails before cutting them out neatly.
Instead of chipping them away with clippers, this is a safer way to do it.
To begin with, nails are naturally softer after taking a shower.
Hence, this is ideal for daily toenail care routine as the water softens them.
Although this is an easy and convenient way to go by your nail care routine, you cannot always wait until you shower to do so.
There are times you may need to devote extra care and attention to your nail care separately.
And for that reason, below are some of the steps you should follow to soften thickened nails:
Prepare your toenails before getting them wet.
In that case, you can apply a moisturizer of your choice on the cuticles and nails while massaging the toes simultaneously.
This will help with the nail softening even before you soak your feet in the water.
This will feel nice on your feet.
Proceed and soak your feet in the water. You can leave them for precisely 15 minutes tops.
This way, the water will soften the thick and hard toenails by a higher percentage.
This is because the feet are left to soak for longer than the limited few minutes you always take in the shower.
In this step, the water will likely make your feet look wrinkly, but thanks to the oil.
It will keep your toenails and feet soft and hydrated.
You can soften your nails by getting a bowl of water to which you should add a little alcohol and some mild soap.
This process will clean, soften and disinfect your toenails all at once.
You need to understand that feet can be a hotbed for all kinds of infections if the ideal levels of hygiene are not observed.
In that case, just like in step 2, you should comfortably leave your feet submerged in the solution for 15 or 20 minutes.
Take the feet out of the bowl, then dry them thoroughly using a clean towel.
You should not take too long before you cut the nails at this stage.
This is because the longer you take, the higher the likelihood of the nails hardening once again.
Use a clean clipper to cut the nails.
The nails will be nice and soft; take advantage of that. Cut the nails short, but again, not too short.
When you dig in too much, that could be painful and, in some cases, could harbor infections.
File the nails after cutting them out to achieve a nice and smooth finish.
You need to follow these steps carefully to avoid leaving any jagged edges.
Also, you need to select your polishing file carefully.
The best selection is a file with different textures on both sides.
Apply firm yet gentle movements of the nails to achieve the desired shape while at the same time polishing off the unevenness.
Once you are done with the clipping and filing process, you should apply a moisturizing lotion to the toenails.
This ensures that the nails stay well-nourished afterward.
Well, I know you might need to try something different when it comes to nail softening.
You cannot always make it to pedicure and manicure every time.
For that reason, you will get little DIY home remedies that you can try during the lazy Saturday afternoons.
Here are some of the best easy home remedies that you can incorporate into your nail trimming process.
I bet you have heard about this before. This is a straightforward rub in most homes that are used for congested chests.
However, you can still use it as an alternative instead of soaking your feet in a bowl of water every time.
The Vicks VapoRub contains camphor, menthol as well as eucalyptus oil.
This is an incredible combination that keeps your toenails hydrated while at the same time curbing the growth of fungus in your toenails.
This rub should be applied at least two times a day.
Preferably in the morning after taking a shower and at night before going to bed.
This is the ideal daily routine for ensuring proper penetration into the toenails.
White vinegar is commonly known for its antibacterial properties.
Therefore, if you are looking for home remedies for thick toenails, this is just what you need.
It would be best to soak a piece of cotton in vinegar then apply it directly onto the toenails.
Repeat this process at least two times a day until you feel satisfied that your toenails are now soft enough and can be cut safely.
Tea Tree Oil
This is one of the most versatile home remedies for thick nails. The tea tree oil contains antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
For that reason, it can be used to get rid of the toenail fungus.
In other cases, the properties of this oil help to deal with the unusual thickening of nails after some time of use.
All you need to do is mix a few drops of the tea tree oil with a carrier, preferably olive oil.
From there, you should apply the solution to your toenails directly.
Thickened toenails are not exactly a sight to behold. Apart from that, they can be very inconvenient.
Worse, they can become painful when they are overgrown.
Therefore, whether you have a health condition or are just susceptible to thick nails, it’s always necessary to soften them up a little before trimming.
The nail softening tips listed above are ideal for proper clipping of the nails.
In that case, follow through with the softening procedures carefully, and you will get softer nails faster.