Nail care

How To Make Thick Toenails Thinner

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 20, 2017
How To Make Thick Toenails Thinner

Cutting and filing your toenails is a task that must be done properly and carefully so that the end result is impeccable and to prevent uncomfortable conditions, such as ingrown toenails. However, how do you do it when the nails are too thick? In this case, it is necessary that beforehand you have followed a series of care guidelines to file them down and soften them. Otherwise, cutting them and making them look beautiful can be virtually impossible. It will also be essential to consult your doctor if the thickening of the nail is the result of a fungal infection or another condition that threatens your health. Keep reading this OneHowTo article if you want to know how to make thick toenails thinner and always keep them healthy and pretty.

You'll need:

  • Bathtub
  • Nail file.
  • Nail buffer
  • Medical prescription
You may also be interested in: How to Soften Toenails

Steps to follow:


First, it is important to know that the thickening of the nails may be due to various causes, and it is usually the result of aging, but it may also be a condition caused by wearing inappropriate footwear, trauma or a symptom of conditions such as the presence of nail fungus (Onychomycosis), psoriasis and diabetes. That is why if you notice changes in your toenails seeing that one or more of them has become thick and that they also change color or emit an unpleasant smell, you should go to your doctor or podiatrist urgently to get appropriate treatment based on the origin of the problem.

How To Make Thick Toenails Thinner - Step 1

Some people have thick nails more than others, and for these people simply cutting or filing them becomes a very tedious task. If this is your case and the thickening of your nails is not due to any health problem affecting the status of your toenails, you can follow the steps described below to try thin thick toenails yourself at home:

  • First, you should thoroughly wash your feet with soap for soft skin, focussing on the nails, rinse with warm water and dry with a clean towel.
  • Then we suggest having a foot bath with salted water to soften and make the thick toenails thinner. To do this, fill a bowl or basin with warm water, add 3 tablespoons of sea salt and let your feet soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Dry your feet well and apply a softening cream or some baby oil to them and your nails. This will also serve to soften the nail structure.
How To Make Thick Toenails Thinner - Step 2

After this, you will find it much easier to cut your toenails, but first it is important to file them down. You must choose a specific file for thick nails, as this will avoid that these get grooves in them or are damaged. The most recommended are polishing files that have 4 sides with different textures. These are ideal for shaping and polishing unevenness in the nails. You should file the nail surface to remove layers using firm but gentle movements.

How To Make Thick Toenails Thinner - Step 3

Once finished, it's time to cut them. This is a step that must be done well to prevent the edges of the nails digging into the skin when they grow. You will need special nail pedicure scissors for thick nails or strong nail clippers, and the cut must be straight and clean, ensuring that the corners don't end up too short. Finish off by filing the nails into a square shape, and they will be much thinner and perfect to show off confidently.


As we noted at the beginning, the thickening of the nail may be caused by wearing inappropriate footwear. Wearing shoes that squeeze your toes too much can damage the structure of them. That is why it's important to check when buying shoes that they are wide enough and you can move all your toes easily.


Also, one of the conditions whose main symptom is the thickening of the nail is onychomycosis or nail fungus. However, in this case you not only notice that your nail is thicker than normal, but also other changes, as they tend to become yellow, brittle and deformed. At the slightest suspicion of fungal infection, you should go to your doctor because it requires a topical or oral antifungal treatment to be cured.

If you suffer from this condition, you may also want to consult the following articles:

If you want to read similar articles to How To Make Thick Toenails Thinner, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Richard Sabatini
I am diabetic and would like to improve my feet thick nails.
I purchase an instrumment sort of like for thinning dog toe nails, although this is for humans and I am 79 years old with thick nails on big toes. would this be safe to try and thin the nails after soaking them
Norma Snyder
Need help on my feet. I go to the beach and wear sandal and fir everday wear in earm weather also.My nails look bad at times but as I get older they get thicker..Please help..
Tina Phillips
I have two thick toenails and on my right foot the toe next to my big one has grown with a c curve all the way over so it's like it's been folded in half and is painful I manage to cut it kind of with dog dippers I have no yellowing or smell but it's been suggested to me by my dentist and rheumatologist to be checked for diabetes but due to covid it's not possible at the moment any ideas how I can sort this out I'm 52 in a week
I have read many articles about this subject, and many of them talk about the cause of the thick nail. They always omit psoriasis. I have it under my toenails and thumb nails, and it causes a raised nail bed and thick brittle nails.
OneHowTo Editor
Thank you for your comment Tara, we'll take it into account!
I have it under some of my toenails I will try this and hope this works if not I will probably need to go to the doctors I hope it doesn't have to end up that way
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How To Make Thick Toenails Thinner