10 Natural Paths from Thick Toenails to Smooth Walking

thick toenails

If you constantly have to keep your feet covered up and can’t wear sandals or flip-flops because of those ugly, thick toenails, then you are probably already searching for a natural solution which works. Thick toenails are not only unsightly, but they might also reflect a more serious health condition.

We’re going to provide you with a number of natural remedies to cure for thick toenails in this article. Before we do, we’re going take a look at the possible causes of thick toenails, symptoms typically associated with them and what can happen if they are left untreated.

What Are Thick Toenails?

If you notice changes in your toenails, it may be a sign of an underlying condition. Toenails that have become thicker over time most likely indicate a fungal infection which is known as onychomycosis. If left untreated, thick toenails can often become quite painful. The key to curing nail fungus is prompt treatment. Fungal infections are usually quite difficult to cure and often require months of treatment.

What Symptoms Accompany a Thick Toenail?

Changes in the thickness of your toenails are often just one of the symptoms of a fungal infection.

Other symptoms of a nail fungal infection include the following:

  • toenails that split or crumble
  • toenails with debris or dirt underneath them
  • a foul odor which comes from the toenail
  • toenails which change in color to brown, yellow, or green
  • toenails which can lift away from the nail bed
  • toenails which look chalky or scaly

In the early stages of the infection, you may not notice any discomfort. As the symptoms develop though, your toenails may become quite painful.

Why Do Toenails Get Thick?

The most common answer to why do toenails get thick over time is that there is likely an underlying fungal infection. That infection is commonly known as onychomycosis. Left untreated, the problem will worsen, causing damage to the tissue and bone structure and become very painful.

There are several accompanying symptoms and conditions present with thick toenails. Though this list of symptoms isn’t always present, they are additional indicators of what type of damage might be responsible for your thickening toenails. These symptoms include:

  • Change in color to yellow, brown, or green;
  • Foul odor;
  • Toenails can be raised up from the nail bed;
  • Splitting or crumbling;
  • Scaly or chalky appearance;
  • Constantly cleaning dirt and other debris from under the nail bed.

Possible Causes of Thick Toenails

Treatment when one or more of these symptoms first appear is the best way to get it under control before things go too far. Knowing how to treat your condition also requires an understanding of the underlying cause of it. Here are some of the common causes of thick toenails:

  • Any type of alteration root of the nail, nail bed, or to the nail plate. This can be temporary or permanent damage, depending upon the circumstances.
  • Toenails thicken as you age due to reduction in blood flow, metabolic changes and an accumulation of traumas.
  • Dropping a hammer or some other heavy object on your toe or the invisible pressure of a tightly fitting shoe over time can result in the permanent thickening of the toenail.
  • Psoriasis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are a few of the systemic diseases that are often connected to the thickening of toenails.
  • Though bacterial infections associated with an ingrown toenail can generate the sort of damage that makes your toenails to thicken. This is also the major cause of thickening toenails are fungal infections.

Treatments for your thick toenails due to aging, trauma or systemic diseases tend to need a more aggressive approach than can be provided by home treatments. For advanced conditions or conditions that are not caused by bacterial or fungal infections, you should consult with a health care professional.

10 Natural Ways to Make Your Thick Toenails Smooth

Listerine Mouthwash

The first thick toenail treatment on our list is one that with probably surprise you; Listerine.

What to do:

  • Fill a foot tub with equal parts of Listerine and white vinegar;
  • Soak the affected foot for 30 minutes;
  • Gently scrub the infected toenail;
  • Rinse it off and dry thoroughly;
  • Repeat a couple of times a day until the infection clears.

How it works:

There are several antiseptic compounds in Listerine that kill bacteria and fungus.

garlic on table


A common ingredient found in nearly every household, garlic is toward the top of our list of how to get rid of thick toenails.

What to do:

  • Mix equal amounts of garlic oil and white vinegar;
  • Saturate a cotton ball with the mixture and apply to the infected area and wrap or tape it in place;
  • Leave it in place for a few hours;
  • Repeat daily until the infection clears;
  • You can make garlic infused olive oil for this purpose;
  • Also consume a couple of crushed garlic cloves daily.

How it works:

Allicin and ajoene, found in garlic, both have antifungal properties to help get rid of the fungus causing thickening nails.

Lavender Oil

You can also treat thick toenails with lavender oil.

What to do:

  • Mix five drops of lavender oil in ¼ tsp of olive or coconut oil;
  • Apply the mixture with a cotton ball or swab to the affected area;
  • Allow it to sit for 10 minutes;
  • Rinse and dry your toes thoroughly;
  • Repeat a couple times daily.

How it works:

The antiseptic properties of lavender oil help to rid your toenails of a common cause of thick toenails.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a top performer among those treatments included in our list of how to get rid of thick toenails.

What to do:

  • Mix equal parts of water with apple cider vinegar;
  • Soak the affected nail in this mixture for 30 minutes every day;
  • Dry toenail thoroughly;
  • Repeat daily for a few weeks;
  • Create a scrub by mixing ¼ to ½ cup of coarsely ground rice flour with enough apple cider vinegar to create a paste;
  • Apply the paste to the affected area and gently scrub;
  • Repeat the scrub a few times a week.

How it works:

Apple cider vinegar creates an inhospitable environment for the growth of fungi and bacteria.

Vick’s VapoRub

Vick’s VapoTub can also help you rid yourself of thick toenails.

What to do:

  • Dip your finger into VapoRub or use a cotton swab in order to apply it to the affected area;
  • Repeat this process two or three times a day for several weeks.

How it works:

The menthol in Vick’s works as an antiseptic to rid your thickened toenails of one of its major causes.

epsom salt

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts are another great thick toenail cure which you’ve got to try.

What to do:

  • Add 1 Tbsp of Epsom salts to a foot tub half-full of warm water;
  • Soak the affected foot in the salt solution for 30 to 45 minutes twice a day;
  • Repeat daily for several weeks.

How it works:

The minerals, especially magnesium, in Epsom salts helps eliminate bacteria and promote healthier nails.

Tea Tree Oil

You can also eliminate thick toenails using tea tree oil.

What to do:

  • Mix several drops of tea tree oil with 1 tsp of olive or coconut oil;
  • Apply the mixture to the affected toenail or toenails with a cotton ball or swab;
  • Leave in place for 10 minutes;
  • Gently scrub with an old toothbrush;
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times a day for several weeks.

How it works:

Tea tree oil has powerful antiseptic and antifungal properties to help heal the affected area.

Lemon Juice

Another common household item and simple thick toenail treatment is lemon juice.

What to do:

  • Saturate a cotton ball with fresh lemon juice and apply it to the infected toenail;
  • Leave it in place for at least 30 minutes;
  • Rinse it off with warm water and dry thoroughly;
  • Alternatively you can mix equal parts olive oil and lemon juice and apply it as before. But leave it in place for several hours or overnight.

How it works:

The acid, antifungal and antiseptic properties of lemons can help stop the spread of the fungus causing the thickening of toenails.

Baking Soda

Another common household ingredient which makes an excellent thick toenail cure is baking soda.

What to do:

  • Mix ¼ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with ½ cup each of baking soda and Epsom salt in 4 cups of hot water;
  • Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to the mixture;
  • Soak the infected toenail in this mixture for 20 to 30 minutes;
  • Rinse and dry your foot thoroughly;
  • Repeat this a couple of times a day for several weeks.

How it works:

Baking soda is not only an excellent cleanser and antiseptic, but will also get rid of any foul odors.

oregano, thick toenails

Oil of Oregano

Though it isn’t as common as a household item, oil of oregano is still a solid solution for eliminating thick toenails.

What to do:

  • In 1 tsp of olive oil, place 2 or 3 drops of oil of oregano;
  • Use a cotton swab or cotton ball to apply the mixture to affected toenail;
  • Allow 30 minutes before rinsing off and drying thoroughly;
  • Repeat a couple of times a day for 3 to 4 weeks to see the best results.

How it works:

Oil of oregano is pretty much anti-everything. This includes being antiseptic, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antiviral and antifungal. It also has analgesic properties to help relieve any pain.

Wrapping Up

If you’re dying to slip off your shoes around other people or itching to get into a pair of sandals or flip-flops, but you’re too embarrassed because of those ugly toenails, then you will have to find a cure for thick toenails.

Among the 10 natural paths from thick toenails to smooth walking listed above, you’re sure to find one or several remedies to alleviate your condition, and then proudly put your feet on display. Try them out and tell us about your success in the comments section below.

The images are from depositphotos.com and pixabay.com.