Did you just poke a hole in someone with those sharp, talon-like toenails? They’re probably getting a little too long, aren’t they? Well, now is the perfect time for a little personal grooming!Trimming your toenails may seem like a simple task, but it’s not something that should be done carelessly. Most of us may not need to see a professional to take care of our toes but there are some – like people with diabetes – who need to be extra careful whenever they’re clipping their nails so as to reduce the risk of injury and other foot problems.We rely on our feet so much, so you need to make sure you give them proper care. Cutting your toenails correctly and on a regular basis can prevent them from growing (dangerously) long, becoming ingrown (nails that lodge in the skin instead of growing normally) or infected, or causing any discomfort as we walk and move about. If you learn how to cut your toenails the right way, you can protect your precious tootsies from any discomfort. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how!

Step 1

Before anything else, you need to wash your feet and dry them thoroughly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), soaking and cleansing your feet will make your nails less brittle, so they’re safer and easier to trim. This also helps avoid splitting your nails, which is especially important for toenails.

Step 2

Use the appropriate tool for cutting your nails, like nail clippers or manicure scissors. There are no other safer tools to use for cutting your toenails. Using sharp cutting tools such as razor blades and regular scissors should be avoided as they may slip and injure the skin around the nail. Larger clippers are meant for larger nails, and so are easier to cut toenails with than fingernail clippers. Before and after using a nail clipper or any other tool you use on your toes, make sure to disinfect them by cleaning them with cotton and isopropyl alcohol.

Step 3

Cut your nails straight across. Many orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists warn against cutting the nails in a curved shape or cutting the sides at an angle because this often causes the corners to grow toward the skin and becoming ingrown.

Step 4

Short nails look nice and clean, but toenails that are trimmed way too short can also cause ingrown toenails. Because, when you walk around wearing shoes, toenails that were cut too short may curl down and grow into the skin. Even worse, it may cause the nails to become infected, and that’s really going to hurt!That being said, you need to cut your toenails to their proper length. Cut the nails so the edges reach the tip of your toe.

Step 5

After trimming your toenails, make sure there are no jagged edges. Otherwise, you need to eliminate them as they might snag and tear your toenails as they grow. Smooth them out by filing your trimmed nails using a nail file or emery board. Make sure not to drag the nail file back and forth. Gently move the file in one direction across the top of your nail until it’s smooth.

How Often Do I Need to Trim My Toenails?

Everyone’s nails grow at varying speeds, so there’s really no specific time frame for how often you need to trim your toenails. The only thing you need to remember is to keep an eye on how long your nails are and to cut them short before they start rubbing against your shoes and causing any discomfort or pain.

Ask Your Physician or Podiatrist

If you can’t see well or if you have a health condition like diabetes, ask your physician or podiatrist to help you trim your nails and to teach you the proper way to care for your feet. According to the CDC, diabetics must avoid ingrown nails and even minor foot injuries because they often develop into painful ulcers and turn into a more serious health condition.Nice, clean, and neatly trimmed toenails mean comfortable, healthy feet. Your feet do a lot of hard work every single day, so you need to give them the care they deserve. Keep your toes in top shape with proper and regular trims to avoid future foot problems.

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