Nail Health 101: Complete Guide To Ski Jump Toenails

The nails are often referred to as key indicators of problems in our health.

If you’re worried that your nails show signs of a bigger problem in your body, your concern is completely valid.

Nails often give away if you have illnesses like cancer, heart problems, anemia and many more.

If you have ski jump toenails, it is obvious that they are going to bother you while you go about your day.

They can get caught in clothes, break easily, cause you pain while wearing shoes or simply be a huge hassle to get painted in a manicure.

They’re also likely to be indicating a greater health condition that you aren’t aware of.

In this article, we talk about what ski jump toenails are, what they could indicate and how you can treat them.

How Do Ski Jump Toenails Look?

Ski jump toenails are called koilonychia, which is a Greek word that means ‘hollow nail’. This is because the nail grows in the wrong direction.

Instead of being convex and curving away from your nail bed, they curve towards it.

The tip of a ski jump toenail grows upward, instead of straight ahead. Hence the name “ski jump”, because it literally looks like a mini ski jump.

For visual purposes, imagine if you got a manicure and your fake nails were glued on the other way. That is what ski jump nails look like.

The more you grow them out, the higher it grows upwards.

It’s almost impossible to have long nails when they’re shaped this way, because as soon as they get longer, they become fragile and breakable.

How Do They Happen?

There are several different causes of ski jump nails.

It can be a trait that you’re born with or a condition that comes out later in your life because of another health-related issue.

Only when you figure out the causes behind the shape of your nails can you work on resolving the problem.

  1. Anemia

Anemia is one of the main causes of concave nails.

It refers to a condition where your blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to all the parts of your body.

Anemia can make you feel weak and lethargic all the time.

Alternately, if you have a liver problem known as hemochromatosis, your body may be absorbing a large amount of iron that it picks up from your diet.

This problem can also lead to spoon-shaped nails.

  1. Disease

Having ski jump nails can be caused by lung or heart conditions. Having cancer can also make your nails grow upwards.

Koilonychia can also be a sign of hypothyroidism and celiac disease.

How Are They Treated?

If you feel like you have ski jump toenails, you should ideally book an appointment with a doctor to get them checked.

They will schedule any tests for you and conclude whether the cause of your upwards-pointed nails is not harmful and dangerous for your well-being.

If not, you can opt for cosmetic surgery if you don’t like the way they look.

If the cause ends up not needing a doctor’s guidance, you can do things on your own to maintain your nails.

1.     Trimming Ski Jump Nails

trim ski jump toenails

Make sure that you never cut them when they’re wet. Wet toenails can end up cracked and damaged.

Don’t let them get long, because long toenails that are shaped this way can break and cause infections.

Always cut the nail starting from the place it begins to curve upwards.

Make sure you leave a little bit of it untrimmed so that it doesn’t end up growing inwards instead.

2.     Buying Well-Fitted Shoes

ski jump toenails

Buying shoes that fit your feet is essential to keeping your feet and toes healthy.

A number of problems can come up if you don’t take proper care of your shoe size, like ingrown or ski jump nails.

When you don’t give your toes enough space to move around inside your shoes, the nails naturally have to find another way to continue their growth.

3.     Caring For Your Nails

ski jump toenails

File your nails so that they don’t get caught on your socks or pants while getting dressed. It also makes them easier to manage, because they won’t break as easily.

Always keep your nails and cuticles moisturized and don’t walk around, even at the poolside, without footwear.

4.     Rebalancing Your Nails

ski jump toenails

You can go to a nail expert, and have them rebalance your nail. They’ll do so by adding an acrylic filling to the part of the nail that dips in like a hollow.

They’ll add this layer until the surface of your nails is evened out, like a normal nail.

You’ll have to get the rebalancing touched up every 2-3 weeks; otherwise your nail will outgrow the acrylic filling and look bad.

5.     Making Changes In Your Lifestyle

healthy diet to prevent ski jump toenails

If you’ve noticed that you’re regularly biting your nails or not getting the right nutrients that a healthy body needs, you need to correct these issues right away.

Sometimes, simply changing your diet to include more iron will help.

It’s important to quit your nail-biting habit as well because even if it doesn’t cause your nails to grow upwards, it has other impacts on your health.

Try limiting the amount of fatty foods you have in your diet. Drink lots of water and eat the right amount of servings from all the food groups.

If you’ve recently given birth, or are currently pregnant, your body might have lost out on important nutrients, which you need to address as soon as you notice any problems.


ski jump toenails

Although ski jump nails are not always indicators of dangerous changes in your health, they’re an indication that you are probably not eating a healthy diet or following a healthy lifestyle.

If you learn that your ski jump toenails are hereditary, you can make cosmetic changes, or simply trim them to make them manageable.

It’s not always preferred to go in for surgical interventions when your nails aren’t physically harming you, so unless you feel that there are no other ways for you to resolve the issue, don’t opt for surgery.

Instead, try making the necessary changes to your lifestyle and caring for your nails.

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ski jump toenails