How to Cut your Toe Nails

How to cut your toe nails – the best way to avoid ingrown nails

There is nothing complicated about cutting toenails, however you do need to keep a few things in mind. Toenail cutting requires special attention if you are diabetic or are suffering from a nail infection. It is advisable that you keep a personal nail clipper and disinfect it before and after use.

Things to remember

Select proper utensils:

Chose a toenail clipper that is larger in size than your fingernail clippers. A straighter edged blade is also recommended for toe nails. This prevents too deep cutting of the corners and thus reduces the likelihood of developing ingrown toenails.

An emery board or nail file should always be used to smooth the cut edge.

Always trim dry nails:

Wet nails are weak and more prone to break and/or bend.

Do not trim too deep:

Trim the nail just above or at the level of the skin. Cutting too deep poses a number of problems.

  • First, it looks ugly.
  • It exposes the nail bed, is painful and may cause the toe to bleed.
  • There is the risk of the new toenail growing into the flesh. An ingrown toenail is a common foot complaint. It is quite painful and often requires surgical treatment.

Always file your nails:

After trimming do not forget to file your nails, as rough jagged edges are more likely to catch on clothes and socks and may tear the nail.

Toenail Cutting Technique

  • Start cutting from one end, go straight following the contour of the tip of the toe. Do not cut deep in the corners.
  • Avoid taking big clippings or cutting your nail in a single stroke. Make a few small cuts.
  • Once you achieve the appropriate length, check your nails for any irregular or sharp edges.
  • Use the coarser side of the emery board to trim sharp edges and then the finer side to smooth the rough nail ends.
  • Always file in one direction, until the nail feels smooth when checked by running the tip of a finger over its edge.

How frequently should you cut your toenails?

That really depends on how fast your nails grow. The length of your toenails should be such that they do not rub against your shoes. If you are preparing for a hiking venture, cut your nails to a level flush with the tip of your toes to avoid any nail injury.

Diabetics should have their feet and nails treated by a podiatrist.