Common Toenail Conditions - Changes in Nail Shape
There are many reasons why the shape of the nail may change over time, including hereditary factors, injuries, changes in circulation, and fungal infections.
The most common change is the thickening of the nail. In the most advanced cases nails can become more than half an inch thick.
Other changes in shape include curving, clubbing, and "spoon-shaped" nails.
In the most advanced cases nails can become more than half an inch thick. Other changes in shape include curving, clubbing, and "spoon-shaped" nails.
Thickening of the toenail is often caused by a fungal infection.
Fortunately for those who are vulnerable to thickening of the nails, a thorough nail treatment, done one to four times anually by a podiatrist, can control the problem.
Curving usually occurs at the corners of the nails and can lead to ingrowing nails, nails with a peak at the center, or nails that become tubular in shape.
A curved nail is probably the most difficult to trim and tends to become progressively more curved in time.
"Clubbing" refers to nails that have a bulbous shape, and appears in the fingers as well as the toes of affected individuals.
The nail broadens and bulges as it curves downwards around the end of the toe.
It also becomes thin and rubbery and can separate from the nail bed.
Clubbing is often an indication of heart or lung disease.
Spoon-shaped nails loosen and curve upwards at the ends of the toes and are thin, dry, and whitish in colour.
They usually indicate a systemic condition, such as iron deficiency anemia, systemic lupus, or Raynaud's disease/phenomenon.
Reference: Great Feet For Life: Paul Langer, DPM