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Common Nail Disorders Treatment in Perth

Healthy toenails

Are your toenails healthy? Healthy nails should appear smooth with even layers and a healthy pinkish base. Your nails should also be strong to withstand normal daily chores without breaking or splitting too easily. It is normal for your nails to become more brittle/thicker, develop vertical ridges or white spots over the years.

Certain medical conditions, medications, injury, or habits can cause damage to the nails. Should you have any questions or concerns with changes to your nails, consult with one of our podiatrists or your doctor.

How to keep your nails healthy?


– Keep nails clean with soft brush and use mild soap to wash them.

– Regularly trim the nails with sharp scissors to avoid nails breaking/splitting.

– Use moisturiser such as foot cream or cuticle oils.

– Trim back loose nails after a trauma

– Treat infections quickly and accordingly as recommended by one of our podiatrists.


– Do not clean under the nails with sharp objects.

– Do not cut the nails too short.

– Do not bite or pick the nails or surrounding skin.

– Do not ignore nail problems, especially if it does not go away or causing discomfort.

Below are common toenail conditions that Foot Focus Podiatry in Perth provide advice and treatment for:

Thickened nails treatment in Perth

What are thickened nails?

Thickened nails, as the name suggests, are nails that are thicker than normal and are usually harder to cut with normal nail clippers. It can affect any toenails.

What are the causes of thickened nails?

Usually, thick toenails are caused by trauma to the toenails or a skin condition/nail fungal infection (onychomycosis). This can be from of a major trauma (eg. dropping tools / heavy object on your toenails, accidentally kicking the toenails against furniture/wall), or repetitive minor trauma from normal activities (eg. wearing tight/narrow shoes, crowding of the toes). It is also common for toenails that are affected by fungal infection to become thick. Sometimes, certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, can manifest on the nails and cause them to become thick.

What can I do at home?

When the nails get too thick, they can be quite uncomfortable, especially in closed footwear. To prevent the nails from getting thicker and manage them at home:

  • Soak the affected nail with damp cotton wool to soften the nails. Using a nail file, file from the top of the nails. This can also be done after shower. Please see one of our podiatrist first though as if not done correctly it can cause the nail to become very curvy which will in itself cause other problems.
  • Avoid wearing tight or narrow shoes as they can damage the nail further

When should you see a podiatrist?

You should see one of our podiatrists if the nails become uncomfortable or if the surrounding flesh becomes inflamed. Our podiatrists can diagnose and treat the thickened toenail by properly trimming the nail and filing it down with minimal discomfort using a special nail drill. Our podiatrists can also advise you of a possible treatment for the cause of your thick toenails.

If you suffer from diabetes, poor circulation, or poor wound healing, you should avoid letting the nails grow too long or too thick and see one of our podiatrists to get it managed regularly. This helps reduce the risk of getting complications, such as ulcer underneath the nail and infection.

Nail psoriasis treatment in Perth

What is a psoriatic nail?

Also known as psoriatic nail dystrophy or nail psoriasis, a psoriatic nail is a nail disease associated with psoriasis. When someone has psoriasis, they have abnormal proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes (a cell found in the uppermost layer of the skin) characterised by the skin having defined, red, and scaly plaques.

What are the causes?

Due to its effect on keratinocytes, psoriasis may affect the speed and thickness of the nail growth. This leads to thicker nails.

What are the symptoms?

Psoriatic nail dystrophy can manifest in a few ways:

  • Pitting – psoriasis can cause the nail plate to lose its cells. This leads to indentations or “pits” on the nail plate (either fingernail or toenail) which varies in size and depth. Pitting does not usually hurt.
  • Beau’s line – when the nail has a ridge that runs across the whole nail plate. The line usually grows out as the nail grows out.
  • Onycholysis – when your nail plate separates from the nail bed (the skin directly underneath your nail). This separation creates an empty space underneath the nail where dirt and bacteria can accumulate.
  • Subungual hyperkerastosis – a build-up underneath your nail due to excessive growth of keratinocytes on the nail bed.
  • Splinter haemorrhage – tiny brown/black spot due to damaged/burst capillaries underneath the nail bed.
  • They may also present as nail discoloration, nail plate deformation, or crumbly nails.

As the nail plate and nail bed get disrupted, it can leads to tenderness or painful toenails. The nail may become infected (bacterial and/or fungal infection) as well as unsightly and in a severe form, limit your footwear option and could be debilitating.

What can I do at home?

Always keep your nails short and brush the underside of your nails when possible to decrease build-up. Avoid pulling the nails off.

When should you see a podiatrist?

You should see one of our podiatrists if the nails become too thick or uncomfortable. Although the podiatrist is unable to provide injection or prescription for topical medication for the nails, we can help get the nail clipping/scrapping sample if your GP needs them for a biopsy. We are also able to cut the nails short, and if needed, provided nail removal surgery if other treatment options do not work.

Involuted or pincer nails Treatment in Perth

What is an involuted nail and what is a pincer nail?

Involuted and pincer nails are nails that have increased transverse curvature over the nail bed. They can be painful as the edges are pinching or pressing into the surrounding flesh. Unlike ingrown toenails, they do not dig into the surrounding skin/flesh. However, if left untreated, they can become ingrown.

What are the causes?

Genetic predisposition also plays a role. Trauma (either major trauma or repeated pressure from wearing shoes) can exaccerabte the curvature. Certain systemic disorders or medication may increase your risk of getting involuted or pincer nails.

What can I do at home?

  • Keep your nails short but free at the nail edges, cut them straight across and always file the edge of the nails to ensure there are no sharp edges.
  • Avoid wearing tight or narrow shoes as they can cause further inflammation of the surrounding tissue

When should you see a podiatrist?

If the surrounding tissue becomes painful, red, swollen, or you notice any pus/discharge coming out, you should see one of our podiatrist as soon as possible. Our podiatrists can help you cut them with minimal pain and advise you of a possible treatment for the cause of involuted and/or pincer nails.

If you suffer from diabetes, poor circulation, or poor wound healing, you should avoid letting the nails grow too long or too thick and see one of our podiatrists to get it managed regularly. This helps reduce the risk of getting complications such as wound/ulcer underneath the nails and infection.

Nail discoloration Treatment in Perth

Healthy nail should have pinkish base on the nail bed with white tip as the nail grows away from the nail bed.

– White nail discoloration can happen due to a few things such as, minor trauma or nail fungal infection. It could also be associated with poor health or nutritional deficiency caused by medical conditions or medications.

– Black nail discoloration can happen due to bleeding/bruising underneath the nail from moderate to major trauma. However, if it appears with no associated cause, it may indicate cancer called subungual melanoma. Sometimes darker nail or bluish tinge to the nail bed may be due to underlying medical conditions such as anaemia, heart disease or kidney disease.

– Staining from use of nail polish.

Nail lifting Treatment in Perth

It may be caused by:

– Excessive cleaning underneath the nail.

– Nail infection such as fungal or bacterial infection leading to onycholysis.

– Skin conditions such as psoriasis, lichen planus.

– Certain medications.

– Repetitive trauma to the nail.

Change in the surface texture

– Nail pitting refers to small dents or depressions (“pits”) in the nail which are usually caused by psoriasis or other systemic diseases (dermatitis, connective tissue disorder, or autoimmune diseases).

– Spooning (koilonychia) refers to a nail that has changed shape and scoops outwards like a spoon. It may be caused by systemic diseases such as iron deficiency anaemia, Raynaud’s disease, and heart, liver, or thyroid diseases.

– Nail clubbing refers to the nail that curve around the edge of the finger/toes. Cardiovascular, liver and lung diseases are related to this nail abnormality.

Brittle and/or split nails

It is quite common for the nails to become more brittle and split or thicken as you grow older. However, deformed brittle nails or split nails could also be caused by:

– Trauma to the nail.

– Infection such as fungal or bacterial infections.

– Frequent use and removal of nail polish.

– Frequent exposure to water.

– Nutritional deficiency or systemic conditions such as iron and calcium deficiency, hypothyroidism, or Raynaud’s syndrome. Skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis or eczema and certain medications or cancer treatments could contribute too.

We are located in Perth (south of the river) in Wilson, which is neighboured by Curtin University, Como, Manning, South Perth, Victoria Park, Bentley, St James, Cannington / Carousel, Riverton, Shelley, Ferndale, Lynwood, Parkwood, Willetton and surrounding suburbs.

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