How to cut toenails properly

Photo of toenails being cut (PantherMedia / AndreyPopov)

Many people will have an ingrown toenail at some point in their lives. Using the right technique to cut your toenails can help prevent this problem, though.

It’s important to make sure that you cut your toenails straight across, leaving them long enough so that the corners lie loosely against the skin at the sides.

In other words, don't trim your toenails too short, don't round the edges, and also don't try to cut the toenails into a pointy V-shape. 


Illustration: The correct cutting technique – as described in the articleToenails: The correct cutting technique

Trim your nails using nail scissors, nail clippers or a nail file. It's best to choose the tool that you're most confident using.

If you have difficulty reaching your feet with your hands or safely using nail scissors, get help from someone you know or seek professional assistance. Professionals who do pedicures make sure that your nails are cut correctly, and they take care of the rest of your foot, too. Health insurers don't cover the costs of pedicures.

If you notice abnormal changes on your feet or have health problems like diabetes, it's best to see your doctor about it. He or she may be able to refer you to a podiatrist (a foot specialist).

Labels: Disorders of the nails, Ingrown nail, L60, Nail disorders, Onychocryptosis, Skin and hair, Unguis incarnatus