Toenails Growing in Layers

Toenails Growing in Layers

Table of Contents

Toenails growing in layers can occur due to various reasons. One common cause is a condition called onychomycosis, which is a fungal infection of the toenail. Fungal infections can cause the nail to become thickened, discolored, and brittle, leading to the appearance of layers.

Another possible cause of layered toenails is trauma or injury to the nail bed. If you’ve experienced any significant injury to your toe, it can disrupt the normal growth of the nail, resulting in irregularities and layers as the new nail grows.

Certain systemic conditions, such as psoriasis or lichen planus, can also affect the nails and cause them to grow in layers. These conditions typically cause changes in the nail matrix, the part of the nail where new cells are produced, leading to abnormal nail growth.

If you’re concerned about your toenails growing in layers or experiencing any other changes, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional. They can evaluate your condition, provide an accurate diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options if necessary.

What Are Thick Toenails?

A thick toenail is a condition where extra layers of nails are growing beneath the surface of the nail. If the nail becomes too thick, it can cause the detachment of the whole nail from the nail bed. The thickened nail can cause pain and discomfort, and it is usually a sign of some underlying illness. But don’t worry, as there are treatments for heloma durum corns, there are many ways you can heal your thick toenails as well.  

What Symptoms Accompany Them?

Aside from an unpleasant appearance that can make you not wear open high heel shoes, thick toenails have different symptoms and appearance that can tell medical professionals what illness caused this condition. Here are the main symptoms: 

  • Change of color to yellow, brown, and green, 
  • The scaly or chalky look of nails,
  • Nails smell bad,
  • Nails are brittle and hard to trim, 
  • The toenail appear lifted from the nail bed,
  • Discomfort and pain. 

What Causes Toenails to Grow in Layers?

There are several reasons why toenails grow in layers and become thick. It is important to diagnose the cause so the nails can be treated appropriately. The most common cause of toenails growing in layers is a fungal infection, and it is crucial to treat this infection at its early stages. Fungal nail infection or onychomycosis infects more than 10% of the population. The fungus invades the cracks in your nail and begins to grow under the nail bed. Aside from fungal infection, there are other causes for thick nails: 

  • Yellow nail syndrome,
  • Psoriasis,
  • Onychogryphosis or Ram’s horn nails,
  • Toe injuries,  
  • Aging. 

Who Is at Risk of Developing Thick Toenails? 

Many conditions, like corn on the toes and fungal infection of the toenails, can be easily prevented with good foot hygiene. The person that often swims, showers in the gym, or walks barefoot in the locker room has a greater chance of getting infected by fungus and developing thick toenails. Also, people with weak immune systems can develop thick toenails, as well as people that have injuries or wear shoes that don’t fit. 

Can Thick Toenails Be Prevented?

There are a few things you can practice to prevent thick toenails and fungal infections from appearing. Here are some of the things you can do: 

  • Clean your feet regularly and dry them before putting shoes and socks on,
  • Avoid walking barefoot at public places like the gym, or swimming pools,
  • Regularly disinfect your nail trimming kit tool,
  • Wear flip-flops in public places,
  • Wear shoes that don’t sweat your foot,
  • Use powder to keep your feet and toenails dry. 

How Are Thick Toenails Diagnosed?

As we mentioned, there are several causes of thick toenails, and like you should see a podiatrist for toe corns you should also see a doctor if your toenails are changing in any way. If you have a fungal infection, depending on the fungus that infected you, your nails will start growing in layers, and they will change color to brown, yellow, or green. 

However, for other conditions, such as yellow toenails, people will usually have other symptoms, such as swelling in arms and legs due to the accumulation of fluids in the lungs. This is also followed by a cough. 

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that can affect toenails as well. Onychogryphosis or Ram’s horn nails is a condition that causes one side of the nail to grow faster and to thicken creating the so-called horns. All of these conditions are treated differently, and your doctor should prescribe the medication depending on the cause. 

When Should You See the Doctor?

As soon as you see any changes in your toenails, you should seek medical attention. If you have a fungal infection, the longer you wait, the more uncomfortable and painful it will be for you. If you see any of the symptoms we mentioned above, you should consider going to a doctor’s office so you can be diagnosed and treated on time. 

Contact Your Miami Doctor and Book the Procedure to Get Rid of Nails Growing in Layers 

Do your nails have a change in color and texture and appear like they are growing in layers?  Contact us and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The Looks Foot Surgery is a place you can visit for any foot and toes-related problem including thick toenails. Our experienced team of medical professionals in Miami will determine the cause of your problem and will set you up for the right treatment. 

The important thing is to let medical professionals check your nails so you are diagnosed correctly. The sooner you contact us and schedule the appointment the sooner your problem will be resolved.  


Why Is My Toenail Growing in Two Layers?

There could be several reasons why your toenail grows in two layers. The most common reason is a fungal infection called onychomycosis. This infection can cause the nail to change color to yellow, green, or brown and to thicken the nail. Other conditions, such as psoriasis and Onychogryphosis, can also cause this condition. Injury to a toenail will lead to the growth of another layer of toenail as well. 

Why Do I Have Another Nail Growing Under My Nail?

This could be a condition called Onychauxis, which happens when the nail bed is injured or damaged in some way. This damaged tissue underneath the nail can cause the nail to begin to grow abnormally, sometimes creating a second nail underneath the first nail. Another possible cause of a second nail growing under your nail is a condition called subungual exostosis. This is a bony growth that can occur underneath the nail bed and push the nail upward, causing a second nail to grow.

How Do I Stop My Toenails From Layering?

To stop your toenails from layering, practice good foot hygiene, wear properly fitting shoes, trim your toenails properly, avoid prolonged use of nail polish, and treat underlying medical conditions. If the problem persists, see a healthcare provider or a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.

How Do You Remove Layered Toenails?

If you have layered toenails, the best course of action would be to seek medical professionals. If you decide to remove layered toenails by yourself, you will increase the chances of catching a serious infection this way. You can use some store-bought remedies that can fight fungal infection, but if this is not working, see your doctor and ask for treatment immediately. 


  1. SkyMD. (n.d.). Thick Toenails. Retrieved from
  2. Verywell Health. (2021, March 9). Thick Toenails: Causes, Pictures, and Treatment. Retrieved from
  3. Healthline Media. (2021, January 25). Thick Toenails: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments. Retrieved from


You should like

Luxe Foot Surgery Logo

Book your Free Consultation

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.