How to Get Rid of Thick Skin Under the Toenails

Thick skin under the toenails, often caused by a fungal condition known as onychomycosis, can make the toenails themselves appear thicker than normal and even take on a yellow or brown discoloration. Onychomycosis can cause the skin to thicken along the outer edge of the nail and directly underneath, according to Columbia University 1. This skin accumulation may produce a foul odor that is most noticeable during filing and nail grooming. If you have thick skin under your toenails, don’t despair it. Treatment is available in the form of topical applications.

Wash your feet daily using antibacterial soap and warm water. Pat your feet and toes dry with an absorbent towel after washing. Dry your feet thoroughly, paying close attention to the area in between the toes.

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Cut your toenails just above the skin line using a pair of toenail clippers. Cut the toenails straight across and file them smooth with a nail file to remove any sharp edges.

Apply an antifungal nail lacquer to your toenails. One to two coats of antifungal polish applied once a week will help prevent the spread of the fungus deep into your toenails. While most antifungal lacquers require a prescription, there are a few over-the-counter preparations available.

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Squeeze a pea-sized amount of toenail fungus treatment cream onto your clean fingertips. Massage the cream into your toenails and the thick skin under around your toenails. Repeat the process twice daily. Toenail fungus creams are sold in most pharmacies and grocery stores. Stronger varieties require a prescription from a doctor.

Consult your physician if the thick skin under your toenails does not return to normal after two weeks of treatment. Your physician can prescribe oral and topical prescription-strength medications that are stronger than over-the-counter brands.


Practice good hygiene when dealing with toenail fungus. Changing your socks daily and rotating your shoes can help. Fungus thrives in moist environments, so changing your sweaty socks and shoes can help keep your feet dry.


Wash your hands immediately with warm water and soap after applying topical treatments to infected toenails to prevent the fungus from spreading.