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HOW TO PROPERLY TRIM YOUR TOENAILS
By Foot & Ankle Associates – Sugar Land / Houston’s Favorite Podiatrist,
Dr. Marco Vargas
We all have to cut our toenails, right? Seems easy enough. As easy as it seems, though, it’s also easy to do it wrong or inadvertently injure yourself. Any damage you do to your toes and toenails can lead to other problems, which is why properly trimming them and taking good care of your feet is so important.
Here are a number of things people commonly do wrong when it comes to trimming their toenails.
• Tapering or rounding the sides of the toenails. Rounding the sides can encourage your toenails to grow outward into the nail bed, increasing your risk of developing an ingrown toenail. Cutting straight across and rounding the corners slightly is best.
• Picking at or peeling the sides of your toenail. This makes the edge of your toenail ragged and that means it can splinter off into your skin more easily.
• Using dirty tools. Bacteria and germs plus accidental injury or already tender skin? That can lead to an infection. This can be even more dangerous if you have an ingrown toenail already.
• Cutting your toenails with scissors. Scissors are so big and bulky compared to your toenails! Get some nail scissors if this is the route you want to go.
• Growing your toenails too long. Your toenails bumping into the inside of your shoe with every step you take isn’t just painful… it can cause ingrown toenails.
• Cutting toenails too short. If you cut your toenails too short, the skin on your toe can begin growing over the nail, causing an ingrown toenail. Your nails are not supposed to grow into your skin… they’re supposed to grow over it.
How to Trim Your Toenails the Right Way
Once a month should be often enough for trimming your toenails, and though some of the techniques may change, the basics remain about the same.
Step 1: Soak your feet. Some say that this is optional, but if your toenails are brittle or thick, this step can make the process easier. It also feels awesome and if you put some Epsom salt, lavender oil, and/or tea tree oil in the water (a few drops will do), it will also heal and disinfect your toes. Dry your feet thoroughly before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Clip your toenails with the proper tool: toenail clippers. It’s all in the name… they were designed for this task! How to cut your toenails:
• Cut straight across. You will file or buff out any remaining unevenness in the next step.
• Don’t cut too short. The skin should never be higher than the nail because if it is, the toenail could start growing straight into the skin instead of over it.
Step 3: File or buff out any remaining uneven edges with a nail file or emery board. Filing helps to ensure you’re not cutting your nails too short as well as making it easy to even out the nail almost perfectly.
Things to Remember
If you can’t groom your own toenails for any reason, ask for help. Those with diabetes should be especially careful as a simple thing like an ingrown toenail can quickly escalate into a much more severe problem potentially requiring surgery.
If you have an ingrown toenail and don’t know what to do about it or would like help with any other foot condition and live in the Sugar Land / Houston area, please give our podiatry office a call! Same day appointments are available at 281.607.5186. Why not put your feet in the hands of a pro?
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.
The Foot Pros at Foot & Ankle Associates treat all medical and surgical foot pain and ankle pain conditions, including ingrown toenails. Licensed Sugar Land, TX Foot Doctor, Dr. Marco Vargas can help bring you foot pain and ankle pain relief.
Our Sugar Land, Texas (TX) podiatry office offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including Sugar Land, Texas (TX) and Houston, Texas (TX).
Return to a pain-free life and get back to the things you love!