5 Steps to Trimming Your Toenails the Right Way

by | Apr 8, 2016 | Nail & Skin Care

At The Kansas Foot Center, we are always glad to help patients overcome foot and ankle problems, but it is even better when we can help you prevent a condition from arising in the first place. When it comes to preventing ingrown toenails, one of the top methods is simply to make sure that you trim your nails the right way.

Too many cases of ingrown toenails happen as a result of improper trimming practices, but the good news is that this is an easy fix! Let’s break down how to trim toenails correctly to keep you from developing a potentially painful condition. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Wash and dry your feet first. This makes nails safer and easier to cut, since they are less brittle after washing than they otherwise would be.
  2. Have the right tool(s) handy. Using razor blades, knives, or even regular scissors to cut toenails can not only lead to an improper trim but also greatly increase your risk of cutting yourself. Always use nail clippers or manicure scissors. Leave the smaller clippers for your fingernails and pick bigger ones for your lower digits!
  3. Trim the nails to the proper length. Ideally, the edge of each nail should be roughly even with the edge of its corresponding toe. Trimming toenails too short puts them at risk for curling downwards and into the skin as they grow.
  4. Clip nails straight across. Many patients who end up with ingrown toenails often round off the corners when trimming their nails. This particular practice is likely done because it’s how we generally trim our fingernails. Toenails, though, should be cut straight across—not angled or rounded—to keep them from becoming ingrown.
  5. File jagged edges. This is best done with the use of an emery board or nail file. When filing the ends of the nails, be sure to do so in a single direction. Filing back and forth actually weakens the nail tissue.

If you have any questions about this practice or need additional information, give us a call at The Kansas Foot Center by dialing (866) 222-5177. We can also perform this for you if you have diabetes and are concerned about possibly causing damage that could escalate into a serious complication. Simply take advantage of our online form and schedule an appointment at any of our Newton, Emporia, or Wichita, KS offices today.