When Toenails Look Like a Ram’s Horn

The medical term is Onychogryphosis or “Ram’s Horn” for short.  The condition is characterized by a significant thickening & lengthening of the nail, and when left to grow for significant periods of time, can begin to resemble a ram’s horn or claws.

Onychogryphosis can be caused by a range of factors. It is quite common to see the condition in the elderly, due to lack of proper maintenance of trimming the nail and, can also occur in those with diabetes due to low blood circulation. But other cases are caused by trauma to the digit (including improper footwear), fungal infections or genetics.

Treatment of the condition begins with trimming down the nail. If the cause is due to neglect, the patient will need to continue maintenance of the nail with frequent trimmings.  If the cause is fungus, then a fungal treatment will be required. This usually consists of either an oral medication, a topical medication or laser treatment.  In severe cases, it may be in the best interest of the patient to have the nail removed completely.

To view the process of trimming down nails exhibiting Onychogryphosis, check out this video by Dr. Judith Sperling (aka Dr. Nail Nipper)

If left untreated, the nail will continue to grow longer, causing discomfort to the foot, and may even penetrate the skin depending upon the direction of the growth.

Don’t wait to have your nails trimmed. Stay on top of your nail maintenance, whether it be at home, the salon or at your podiatrist’s office.

If you are suffering from painful or discolored nails, call Dr. Hollander’s office today, and our staff will get you in right away. (707) 578-1222