Treatments available for thick toenails include proper grooming of the toenails to reduce thickness, anti-fungal medications and laser treatment, according to FootVitals. Regardless of what treatment is used, anti-fungal agents may still be required to prevent recurrence.
Filing and trimming a toenail with an emery board can reduce the thickness of the nail, as noted by FootVitals. A person with thickened toenails is advised to speak with a doctor or podiatrist regarding the specific techniques to properly groom the nails to reduce thickness and prevent recurrence. Trimming thickened toenails can be a difficult task. Soaking the nails for at least 10 minutes in tepid soapy water, then drying thoroughly, is advised. It is also recommended that cuticle pushers not be used, in order to prevent infection.
An anti-fungal medicine, either topical or oral, may be prescribed by a doctor if the thickening is due to a fungal infection. There are lasers specifically designed for treating fungi, according to FootVitals. The laser procedure is quick and painless with an 85 percent rate of effectiveness. Thickening of the toenail also can occur due to age or injury. In cases where conservative treatments do not work and the nail is chronically painful, it may be necessary to remove the nail down to the root.