How to Cut Your Toenails Correctly

by | Mar 13, 2017 | Ingrown Toenails, Nail Care

I know what you are thinking, “Is this really a blog topic?”  Hear me out: I get asked this question all the time.  This topic seems rather elementary, but there are some guidelines to follow to avoid causing potential injury or infection.  This is particularly important in patients who have diabetes or poor circulation: I have seen many patients who caused themselves harm due to improper nail cutting.

  1.  Wash feet with soap and warm water prior to cutting your toenails, or cut them after bathing. The skin and nails are more soft and forgiving after washing/bathing.
  2. Use appropriate instruments for cutting toenails. Use toenail clippers (they usually have a wider cutting edge), DO NOT use fingernail clippers as the cutting edge is smaller and can cause uneven cutting and sometimes results in cutting the nails too short.  DO NOT use scissors (yes people do this) for obvious reasons.
  3. Do not cut your toenails too short-if you can see the end of the nail bed, they are cut too short.
  4. It is often heard to cut the nails straight across and this is fine, however it may be more practical to consider following the contour of the end of the toe, meaning it is ok to have a small arch to the end of the toenail.
  5. Following up on #2 above, DO NOT CUT OR DIG INTO THE CORNERS! I cannot emphasize this enough; I have seen many patients cause severe ingrown toenails and infections because of this.  If you have ingrown toenails, we can appropriately, professionally, and easily remove ingrown toenails for you.
  6. It is ok to file or round the corners if you like.
  7. If the nails are too thick, are ingrown, or you have difficulty cutting them due to other factors (inability to reach toenails, lack of hand strength, visual problems), leave the cutting to us.

This is a rather basic topic but considering I am asked about this all the time and I see negative consequences because of improper technique, it was worth mentioning.  If you are having problems with your toenails or have risk factors such as diabetes or poor circulation, skip the ‘bathroom surgery’ and contact us today.  721-4007 or alpinefoot.com

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