Why do elderly people have thick toenails ?

an elderly persons foot and thick yellow toenailsHave you noticed how elderly people have thick toenails?

Why do elderly people have thick toenails ?

I listened to a really interesting lecture today available as a podcast from a range called the “Biology of Aging ” from the US. This series is available to download free from iTunes and is extremely interesting. Today covered the topic of why do elderly people have thick toenails.

As we age there is a rapid decrease in the growth rate of toenails. This results in the accumulation of nail cells  which is medically called “onychocytes”. As toenails are filed and buffed less than fingernails they tend to thicken faster.

Long-term trauma from falling objects, stubbing your toes and poorly fitting shoes and impaired circulation are contributary  factors that can affect the rate of thickening .

Feet are under constant stress we walk on them all the time, sometimes miles in one day and wear suffocating shoes which don’t allow the feet to breathe.

Impaired circulation, affects the feet  often and this also causes nails to become thickened and brittle.

Fungal nail infections more commonly affect the feet as they live in a dark moist environment inside shoes and socks.


Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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