Thickened/Fungal Nail

Thickened Nails (Onychauxis)

Thickened nails are a very common problem and can occur for a number of reasons, most commonly fungal infection, direct trauma and psoriasis. At Winchester Podiatry we understand that thick nails can be uncomfortable, upsetting and difficult to manage. Our experienced podiatrists will carry out an assessment and establish the cause of your nail concerns, discuss a treatment plan and when appropriate administer treatment so that you are able to feel comfortable and happier with your nails.

Fungal Nail (Onychomycosis)

A fungal nail infection is a slowly developing invasion of the nails by a fungus known as a dermatophyte, which thrives in moist conditions and digests keratin (skin). The fungus attacks the nail bed which causes the nail to become thicker and can cause the nail to separate from the nail bed.

Fungal nails often develop following athletes foot (tinea pedis). This is also a dermatophyte fungal infection. The early signs of fungal nail are:


  • Discolouration in the side of the nail which slowly creeps down towards the nail base. The discolouration may be creamy-white, yellow or brown.
  • Infection may be odorous.
  • The nail may become brittle and crumbly.

Athletes Foot is likely to respond to topical anti-fungal creams. However, fungal nail will never resolve without treatment and the longer it is left, the more difficult it is to treat. Unfortunately, there currently is no quick cure but at Winchester Podiatry we can assess your nails and provide you with the latest, research based treatments for this condition.


These may include:


  • Topical antifungals along with reduction of the thickened nail plate.
  • Creating small holes (fenestration) in the nail bed using a specially designed burr to allow topical antifungals to penetrate deeper into the nail.
  • Oral antifungal medication may be your best treatment option and, if required, we can write to your GP to recommend this.
  • Nail surgery to remove the fungal nail and then topical treatment to facilitate healthy nail growth. Or, if a nail has not responded to antifungal treatments, nail surgery with phenolisation to permanently remove the problematic nail.
Contact us to find out more.