How to cut your toenails properly at home

Have you ever wondered how to cut your toenails properly at home? Chances are, unless you’ve suffered with an ingrown toenail after cutting them yourself, probably not. However, it’s actually a really common topic of discussion in our clinic.

Typically, our toenails need cutting every six to eight weeks. But the technique you use is extremely important in keeping those toes happy – especially this flip-flop season!

How to cut your toenails properly at home

1. Soften your toenails first
Enjoy a relaxing foot soak, bath, or shower before cutting your toenails. Not only does this soften the nails and make them much easier to cut, but it also keeps your feet clean and healthy. Why not treat yourself to a few drops of essential oil and a foot massage and make it into a self-care ritual?

2. Choose toenail clippers over scissors
Toenail clippers are much better for cutting toenails due to their size, shape and cutting power. They help you to get a smooth clip first time, and can help prevent those pesky snags that are easy to get with scissors.

3. Perfect your technique
Clipping the nails straight across is a much better option than following the curve of the toe. Why? Following the curve actually encourages the nail to grow back in towards the skin which can lead to ingrown toenails – ouch! As you would with your fingernails, make sure you don’t cut too far down to avoid a painful few days as they settle down.

4. File the Edges
Using an emery board, gently file away any jagged edges to ensure a smooth, comfortable nail edge that won’t get snagged on your socks!

5. Keep Your Tools Clean
Do you sanitise your nail clippers and emery boards? It’s probably something you don’t give much thought to either, but it’s important to keep them both clean and sanitised. Otherwise, bacteria and fungal infections can be easily spread from one foot to another. 

6. See a professional 
Sometimes, medical conditions mean that you should leave toenail trims up to your podiatrist. Patients with conditions like diabetes have to be carefully attended to in order to prevent damage and serious complications. If in doubt, seek professional advice first. 

How to cut your toenails properly at home

When to visit your podiatrist

1. You struggle to reach your feet or find cutting awkward
If you struggle to reach your feet to begin with, there’s a higher chance that you’ll accidentally cut yourself or cause unwanted damage to your toenails (or even your toes!) Alleviate the stress and let your local podiatrist look after you in a comfortable, safe environment.

2. You have toenail fungus
Not only does toenail fungus smell, but it also discolours nails, and makes them brittle. Eventually, the nail becomes thicker and the edges easily crumble away. Not to mention that fungus is also highly contagious, so it’s easy for you to accidentally pass it along from toe to toe. Especially if your tools aren’t sanitised properly each time. Your podiatrist will be able to cut your toenails safely whilst also treating the infection for you and helping to prevent a cross-spread.

3. You have ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails can be super painful and are usually caused by the incorrect cutting of the nails. Sometimes, even injuries or ill-fitting shoes can be to blame. Your podiatrist will be able to cut and shape your nail to alleviate the pain whilst it grows back into a comfortable shape once again. 

4. You have a medical condition like diabetes
Medical conditions like diabetes can cause serious implications, so it’s always best to see a professional to ensure a safe, healthy and happy treatment. 

Need to book in for a treatment?
Give us a call today on 01226 759 660 or contact us here to book your appointment.

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