Friday, October 15, 2010

Toenail Trimming Tips

Have you ever wondered about the proper way you should cut your toenails?  I've heard to cut them straight across, to have the nail follow the shape of your toe, and be careful not to cut too short.  Well, don't worry anymore.  Here are the basics to trimming your toenails properly.
  • Cut the nail straight across.  The nails shouldn't dig down on the sides.  Guide the clippers straight across the nail of each toe and avoid cutting the nails into a curved shape.
  • Use appropriate toenail clippers.  These larger clippers are meant for larger nails and make it easier to cut toenails rather than using fingernail clippers.  Make sure you keep your clippers and any other tools you use on your toes disinfected.  You should clean them before and after use with rubbing alcohol.
  • Leave the nails a little long.  Don't cut the nails too short.  This can cause an ingrown toenail to occur as well as leaving your toenail susceptible to infection.
  • 5" Toenail Cutters (Heavy Duty)
  • Cut nails when they are dry, not wet.  Nails are softer when wet.  This can cause the nail to tear, bend or not cut smoothly.  Cutting dry nails will give you a smoother, cleaner cut.
  • Make a few small cuts.  Make small cuts across your nail.  Do not try and clip the toenail in one shot.
  • Try to file them.  If you prefer to file rather than cut your nail, don't drag the file or emery board back and forth over the nail.  Gently move the file in one direction across the top of the toenail until smooth and the appropriate length.  You should also use the file in one direction to smooth out any rough edges after you have clipped them.
  • Don't cut your cuticles.  If you want to tame the cuticles on your toenails, use a cuticle or orange stick to push them back.  Cutting can cause bleeding or infection.  Pushing them back gives feet a neat look without unnecessary damage.
There is no time frame you should follow for cutting your nails.  Everyone's nails grow at different speeds.  Just make sure you keep an eye on how long your nails are and give them a trim before they start rubbing up against your shoes causing pain.

You should seek medical advice from your podiatrist if you develop an ingrown toenail, if you experience any severe discomfort in your toe, or if pus or redness seems to be spreading.  If you have diabetes or any circulation impairment in your legs and feet, seek the advice from your podiatrist on how to properly care for ingrown toenails.  If you notice any foot sores or infections, seek treatment immediately.

If you have an ingrown toenail and need it looked at, call our office to request an appointment with Dr. Vail at 419-423-1888 or through our website at

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