How to Properly Trim Your Toenails

Mar 7, 2016

Our OKC podiatry practice can provide the care you need when toenails become ingrown, but we know that you would prefer to avoid the condition in the first place. Ingrown toenails can cause discomfort and pain, and even increase your risk for infection. There are actually a couple different ways to prevent ingrown nails from developing, but one that is quite simple is knowing how to trim toenails correctly.

Too many cases of ingrown toenails happen due to trimming practices, but the good news is that this is an easy fix! Let’s break down how to trim toenails the right way to keep you from developing a potentially painful condition. The following steps will help:

  1. Wash and then dry your feet first. This will make your nails safer and easier to cut, since they will be less brittle than they otherwise would.
  2. Have the right tool(s) handy. Using regular scissors, razor blades, or knives to cut toenails not only can lead to an improper trim – it also increases the risk for cutting yourself. Instead, opt for nail clippers or manicure scissors. Since we are talking about trimming toenails, it is better to use a bigger set and leave the smaller clippers for your fingernails.
  3. Trim the nails to the proper length. Ideally, you want the edge of each nail to be roughly even with the edge of its corresponding toe. Clipping nails too short puts them at risk for curling downwards and growing into the skin.
  4. Trim them straight across. Many patients who develop ingrown toenails rounded off the edges of their nails when trimming them. In all likelihood, this is done because we generally do that with fingernails. Toenails, though, should be cut straight across—not rounded or angled—so they do not become ingrown.
  5. File jagged edges. It is best to do this with the use of a nail file or emery board. When filing, be sure to do so in a single direction. Going back and forth can actually weaken the nail tissue.

If you happen to notice any abnormalities or minor injuries, you may want to come in and see us. If you are diabetic, replace that “may” with “definitely should” make an appointment to see us! Remember, diabetes affects your body’s ability to detect and address issues, so you need extra care from our staff at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma.

For more information on foot care practices, or to receive treatment for any nail or skin condition affecting your lower limbs, contact our Oklahoma City, OK office. Give us a call at (405) 418-2676 or request an appointment with us online today.

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Oklahoma City Office:
609 W Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73114

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