Summer is around the corner, and you know it’s time to bust out your cutest sandals, but your feet are in dire need of a pedicure. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, especially if you have thicker toenails than you’d like.
While thick toenails can be hard to deal with, there are still methods to thin them out and get them back to normal. With a doctor’s help or the correct tools, you will have fresh toes just in time for summer.
What are the best files for thick toenails? The best files for thick toenails have a low grit, at least 60, for heavy-duty sanding. You may also want to consider getting a nail drill instead, as it will grind down the nail quickly and with little effort.
Nail files are among the most popular tools you can use at home to care for your nails. Let’s cover the top 7 files and why tyou should add them to your foot care routine.
What Causes Thick Toenails?
Before we get into how to care for thick toenails and the top nail files for them, we should understand what they are and how to care of them. This will help prevent doing any further damage to your thick toenails.
Of course, there is a technical term for thick toenails, and it’s Onychomycosis. Usually, this is the most common type of nail thickening and yellowing.
According to American Family Physician, “Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nails that can cause thickening, discoloration, and separation from the nail bed. It occurs in 10% of the general population.”
You may find that Onychomycosis occurs more often in your toenails than your fingernails. This is because our toes are always covered, hidden from the light, and moisture can get trapped very quickly in these places.
NailPro states the following causes of thick toenails:
- Fungal infection
- Poor circulation
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Skin conditions like Psoriasis
There are various stages of Onychomycosis that determine the severity of the problem. Some forms of thick toenails are only cosmetic and can be taken care of quickly. Others may lead to worse health problems later on.
Regardless, it is imperative to tend to your feet often. Regular pedicures, when performed correctly, will be a massive step in preventing nail conditions like thick toenails. If you go to a salon, make sure they follow the correct hygiene procedures to avoid any additional skin conditions and infections.
When you perform pedicures at home, make sure to use the proper technique while cutting your nails to avoid ingrown toenails. If you notice the health of your toenails is not improving, it is best to see a medical professional or a podiatrist for a diagnosis.
Our nails are a highly underrated indicator of our overall health, and you should always strive to keep them in pristine condition.
How to Treat Thick Toenails
Before you try to self-diagnose your thick toenails, it is always recommended to see a podiatrist or medical professional. A doctor will be able to assess your condition and prescribe the correct treatment properly.
However, for mild cases, you can treat your toes at home. Nail files will be your best friend but remember not to be harsh filing in all directions.
Follow this easy foot care routine at home if you need a fresh Pedi:
- Soak Your Feet: Grab a basin or fill up your tub with lukewarm water. Leave your feet to soak for 5-10min. You want to work with softened nails to avoid further injury. Or soften callouses and nails with urea gel.
- Pat your Feet Dry: Make sure to pat down and dry your feet. You don’t want to trap any excess moisture or leave the feet wet to breed more bacteria.
- Trim Your Nails: This step is crucial. When cutting your toenails, only cut them in a straight line. This technique will help you avoid ingrown nails and other conditions.
- Push Back The Cuticles: Gently, with an orange wood stick, push back overgrown cuticles and dead skin.
- File Your Nails: File your nails in one direction, not back and forth. Rubbing back and forth can cause more damage while filing in one direction can smooth the nails out.
- Replace/Dispose of Nail File: Sanitize, sterilize, or dispose of your nail file. Primarily when working with thick toenails, you don’t want to spread the bacteria even further.
- Keep your feet dry and always change out your socks.
- Avoid going barefoot in public areas.
- Continue to care for your feet often.
- Wash with soap and water in the shower.
- Switch to new shoes.
How to File Nails Properly
You will always want to cut and file your nails in a straight and square shape. Trust me; you don’t want to have any discomfort from ingrown toenails.
First, you will want to get an emery board or a nail drill, along with a dust brush. Make sure to check the recommendations below for the best nail files for thick toenails.
Here’s how to file your nails the right way:
- Hold the brush lightly between your thumb and pointer finger. Apply light pressure so you won’t weaken the nail. Extreme, harsh filing can lead to weak, damaged nails.
- Always file in one direction. Avoid filing under the edge to prevent ingrown toenails. Filing back and forth can always create more problems.
- If you have a buffer, lightly buff the nail and smooth out the free edge. This will ensure that there aren’t any inconsistencies or uneven edges that can snag and break.
Tip: Always be careful not to take your nails too short and not let your toenails grow out either. They should always be an appropriate length that grows straight out of the nail wall.
Filing nails is the most crucial step to shape the toenails. It should always be performed in a manicure when the nails have been soaked and softened. This will give you the best result without further damage.
Now you may be wondering, where do I even begin to choose the right tools for my toenails? Is there a difference between the types of nail files out there with their own purpose?
Buyer’s Guide – How To Pick a Nail File
Not all nail files are made equal. They each have their designated purpose. Some are more soft and fine, and others are gritty and coarse. Now how do you know what will take care of thick toenails?
A regular nail file won’t cut it when it comes to thick toenails, especially those starting to display more rugged signs like discoloration.
Here is what you should be looking out for:
1. Low Grit Nail File
A good rule of thumb for choosing your nail files is to remember the lower the number of grit, the more coarse the file will be. Grit can also mean how abrasive the sandpaper-like emery board is.
A 60 grit nail file is ideal for thick toenails. It will be harsh enough to thin out the nails without overeyxerting the nail file. A coarse grit will take out a lot of imperfections on the nail quickly.
Using a lighter coarse grit like 100/180 will not offer the same quick result. It will take longer to smooth or thin out thick toenails. However, what they are suitable for is smoothing out the nail after going in with a 60 grit.
2. Nail Drill
A nail drill can take care of thick toenails in less than half the time of hand filing with an emery board. Usually, nail drills will also come with multiple drill bits that each serve a purpose.
One drill bit can be for cuticles and around the nail, and the other can be more abrasive for thick parts of the nail bed. Most nail drills even have drill bits to take away calluses.
Nail drills and their attachments are easy to clean and sterilize with alcohol. You must clean after every use to not further spread infection or increase the severity of the nail condition.
If you don’t know how to use a nail drill on natural nails, we’ve got another article waiting for you.
Top 7 Nail Files for Thick Nails
|1.||BTArtbox Professional Portable Nail Drill||Powerful, precise, easy to use|
|2.||Own Harmony Electric Nail File & Callus Remover||Electric, 4-in-1, 6 detachable rollers|
|3.||Beurer Professional Manicure Pedicure Nail Drill Kit||Electric, 7 attachments|
|4.||Pure Enrichment PurePedi Deluxe||Cordless, electric, two speeds, 8 attachments|
|5.||Maryton Nail Buffer Sanding Block Polisher Buffing File||60 grit and 100 grit sides, washable|
|6.||Pana USA Jumbo Professional Nail File||60 grit, simple and double-sided|
|7.||Diamancel Flexible File Coarse||Long-lasting, made for thick toenails|
1. BTArtbox Professional Portable Nail Drill
If you’re looking for a serious heavy-duty option for tough nails, you can’t get any better than this electric nail file.
Not only is it powerful, precise, and easy to use, but it’s wireless, rechargeable, and portable as well.
You may think an electric nail file would be too loud and distracting, but this machine is actually very quiet and produces little heat or vibration.
While this product is professional-grade, it is more than suitable for home use as well. And don’t be intimidated if you’ve never used an electric nail file; this one is very easy to use.
2. Own Harmony Electric Nail File & Callus Remover
This electric nail file has you covered on all sides. It’s a 4-in-1 file that will take care of your nails, your ankles, calluses; you name it.
This nail file has been tested to take care of thick toenails effectively. It charges quickly in a few hours, and it has a rechargeable battery. It’s easy and safe to use, with an ergonomic design.
You get six attachable rollers in this bundle. 2 nail buffing, 2 nail polishing, 2 callus removing (regular and extra coarse). While it is water-resistant, it’s not recommended near water. Sterilize with alcohol.
3. Beurer Professional Manicure Pedicure Nail Drill Kit
Get salon-quality nails at home. This electric nail file, unlike most, can be used on both natural nails and acrylic nails. It’s adjustable and easy to clean. You get seven attachments.
3 foot attachments, 3 hand attachments, and 2 nail attachments. The two nail attachments cover your fine grit and coarse grit disk.
Perfect for taking down thick nails and then smoothing them out with the more delicate disk.
4. Pure Enrichment PurePedi Deluxe
A cordless electric file you can take anywhere with you. There are two-speed settings. One to help treat sensitive areas and around the cuticles—the second to groom thick or acrylic nails or to smooth calluses.
There is also a built-in LED light that guides the way to buffing and shaping the nails. It will help with precision. It is battery-powered, and it comes along with eight different attachments.
5. Maryton Nail Buffer Sanding Block Polisher Buffing File
A durable block that can buff those thick, rough nail beds. The 60 grit is very coarse, so it can thin out thick nails in no time.
It also has a 100-grit side, which is perfect for smoothing the nail bed after the 60 grit.
It gets the job done on the nails, but it does not damage the skin around the nail. It is washable, and with ten pieces in the bundle, you will be set for a lifetime. Perfect for keeping nails intact at home.
6. Pana USA Jumbo Professional Nail File
If you are looking for a classic nail file with no gimmicks, this file is the one for you. It’s larger than most files, double-sided with 60/60 grit, and can be used for natural and acrylic nails.
It can be used to smooth up edges, remove ridges on the nail’s surface, and prep the nail for further treatments. It is the essential tool you need to take down thick toenails.
7. Diamancel Flexible File Coarse
This nail file was explicitly made for thick nails and thick toenails. It can be used daily if needed. It is crafted with diamond grit that allows the file to be long-lasting and abrasive.
The fiberglass is durable and flexible to carry out filing whenever you need it most. The best part is that it’s easy to clean with just soap and water.
While it can be pricey for a singular nail file, you definitely won’t regret the purchase. Especially when you take care of it properly, the nail file can last you a lifetime, even when it’s used daily.
If thick toenails are your biggest problem, it may be time to invest in a professional and premium product.
Thick toenails are such a pain and can even keep you from wearing your favorite cute sandals this summer. However, with the help of a medical professional or podiatrist, you can determine the severity of the problem.
It’s crucial to remember that self-diagnosing your problem could result in a worse outcome. Leave that to the medical professionals. Always take precautions when it comes to the health of your nails.
Regardless of the situation, a proper nail file can help maintain thick toenails. The best part, the nail files listed above are all available on Amazon.
Now you don’t have to spend hours researching and comparing products to find a suitable nail file for you. Whether you need an electric nail file or a classic nail file, there is an option for you.
Remember to practice the proper technique to keep the health of your nail intact and make sure you don’t get ingrown nails. Always file the nail in a straight, square shape and one direction only.
Now is the time to get those toenails in shape. Remember, your nails are a great indicator of your health; never neglect them! Soon enough, you’ll be ready to take on the summer feet first.