Why Is My Pinky Toenail Thick | Thick Pinky Toenail

If your Pinky Toenail grows weird, you might be worried, Why is My Pinky Toenail Thick? Here’s a detailed guide about your condition!

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For any beach lover, swimmer, or footwear aficionado, a disfigured thick pinky toenail is quite embarrassing. Many people are prone to this condition, and if you are concerned about, Why is My Pinky Toenail Thick? Read this article to learn about it!

Symptoms of Thick Pinky Toenail

If you have a misshapen pinky toenail, you might experience the following symptoms:

  • Ridges on the affected toenail
  • Toenail lifted from the nail bed
  • Crumbly pinky toenail
  • Infected toenail emits a funky odor
  • The toenail might look white, yellow, or brown
  • Debris built up under the pinky toenail

Reasons Behind Thick Pinky Toenail

A thick pinky toenail is not only a cosmetic issue but induces pain over time. Many medical, as well as lifestyle habits, are the root of pinky toenail thickening:

1. Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis is the medical term for fungal infections in nails and one of the major causes of thick pinky toenail conditions. It results from a fungal or yeast infection in the nail bed and is characterized by a white or yellow spot on the nail bed that intensifies to yellowish, brown, rugged, or thickened pinky toenail.

2. Paronychia

Paronchynia is a painful condition that results from a bacterial infection in the cracks of the nail or the skin around it. The nailbed gets swollen and red, often leading to the thickened pinky toenail.

3. Yellow Nail Syndrome

People with Yellow Nail Syndrome suffer from swelling of arms and legs due to the accumulation of fluid in the body, followed by yellow, thick pinky toenail issues.

4. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder common in people with plaque psoriasis. It results in itchy, scaly patches all over the skin, spreading to the pinky toenail that turns rough, brownish, and thickened.

5. Onychogryphosis

Commonly referred to as the Ram’s Horn Nail, Onychogryphosis is a condition that results in abnormal thickening and curving of the nail plate followed by yellowish brown nails. It mostly targets the bigger nails in older people or those with poor dental and personal hygiene.

6. Nail Trauma or Injury

Prolonged exposure to trauma, such as stubbing of the toenails, wearing ill-fitted footwear, constant rubbing, or repeated injuries, can cause thickened pinky toenail or pinky toenail split. Athletes or heavy-duty laborers are more vulnerable to these conditions.

7. Aging

People with diabetes, unhealthy hygiene, or misfitting footwear may develop thickened pinky toenail conditions with age. Also, less blood circulation leads to the condition. However, the thick pinky toenail is not a common aging issue and does not pose a serious threat unless any injuries occur while trimming or prolonged nail trauma.

Risk Factors for Thickened Pinky Toenail

After learning why your pinky toenail gets thick, now it’s time to find out the major reasons that increase the chance of getting this malady.

  • Prolonged exposure to water
  • A depleted immune system
  • Diabetes
  • Wandering barefoot in public places like showers and locker rooms
  • Tightly fitted shoes
  • Athlete’s foot

How to Get Rid of a Thick Pinky Toenail?

In the early stages, a thick pinky toenail is more of a cosmetic issue. But when left untreated, it becomes severe, induces pain, and makes wearing shoes or other footwear uncomfortable. Luckily there are some ways by which you can manage this weird pinky toenail condition:

1. Vicks VapoRub

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If your pinky toenail grows weird, or you notice pinky toenail thickening, fungal infection can be the cause. Trim and file the nail as much as you can. Soak the feet in lukewarm water for 10 minutes and dab them clean. Then apply Vicks vaporub on the thick pinky toenail. Repeat this twice a day until the condition eases.

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of eucalyptus oil ease the condition, while menthol and camphor give a cooling sensation to the affected nail.

2. Coconut Oil


If the pinky toenails get thickened due to ill-fitting shoes or any injury, trimming and nail filing are the perfect solution. First, submerge your feet in tepid water for 5-10 minutes and dry your feet. Next, trim the pinky toenail using a nail clipper and gently file the edges, followed by applying coconut oil.

It will moisturize the cuticles, and the fatty acids will break down the fungus membranes, thus softening the nails and relieving pain.

3. Epsom Salt

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If your pinky toenail looks like a rock or you notice a weird pinky toenail, chances are high that they are exposed to repeated physical trauma or injury. In such a case, Epsom salt can relieve you of the thickened pinky toenail.

Soak your feet in warm Epsom salt water for about 30 minutes and then dab them dry. Keep your nails trimmed and moisturized to improve their condition.

4. Vinegar

shutterstock/Mari Nelson

The antifungal properties of vinegar help with fungal infections, a major cause of thickened pinky toenail conditions.

Mix two cups of vinegar in half a bucket of water and soak your feet for 15 minutes. Repeat it daily until the condition improves.

5. Tea Tree Oil

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The antifungal, antibacterial, and analgesic properties of tea tree oil break down the fungal components and help cure the toenail fungus, thus improving the thickened pinky toenail condition.

Clean your feet and apply two drops of tea tree essential oil on the affected thick pinky toenail. Do this before going to bed to help the membranes replenish overnight.


Those unsure about the exact reason behind their deformed pinky toenail must avoid these remedies and consult with a podiatrist for a proper course of action. Thick pinky toenail conditions due to psoriasis and paronychia must be treated by an expert podiatrist rather than in-home treatments.

How to Prevent Thickening Pinky Toenail Condition

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Following certain hygiene practices can help your prevent unpleasant thickened pinky toenail conditions:

  • Dry your feet with a towel after bathing, as wet toenails are at risk of fungal infection.
  • Always carry comfortable footwear.
  • Wear clean and dry socks.
  • Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in swimming pools, locker rooms, spas, or beaches.
  • Avoid nail injury during sports, exercise, or any indoor activity. Seek immediate treatment in case you get injured.
  • Keep your little toenail trimmed and filed but don’t cut it too short.
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