How to look after your toenails

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Grab a pair of scissors and trim your toenails. But did you know that if you are doing it the wrong way, you could be doing more harm than good? The main problem that is caused by poorly trimmed nails is ingrowing toenails. Although interestingly, you can also get ingrown fingernails.

Long toenails will repeatedly bump into the ends of your shoes, causing damage to the nail bed. This damage results in the toenail growing into the skin. Another cause is picking and biting your nails.

Do not pick at your toenails!

Ingrown toenails need time and money to get rid of, so it’s better to prevent them rather than have to sort them out.

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Follow this method to trim your toenails; it’s how I do mine.

-      Invest in some quality, sharp nippers and nail file. Podiatrists recommend nippers shown in the picture. The blades of scissors pass over each other, trapping the nail and not giving a clean cut. The little pincer nippers regularly cause the nail to crack. These hand nippers are easy to control and will provide a clean cut.

-      Start in the middle of the nail and make small nips as you go along.

-      Don’t curve round and down; keep the top of your nail flat.

-      Switch hands, face the nippers the other way and repeat the small nips along the top of the nail.

-      Do this for each nail.

-      Use a nail file in a downwards motion across the edge of the nail to remove any jagged edges that might catch in the socks.

Everyone’s nails grow at different rates; it is best practice to check your feet regularly.

Another benefit of keeping your toenails trimmed is that it reduces the chances of blisters forming under the toenail.

Don’t be embarrassed if you can’t reach your feet to trim your toenails, ask a family member or find a foot health practitioner to help. If you are caring for an elderly family member, don’t forget to check their feet.

Most important - if you trim too close or too much, you will create problems and then you will need to call me for an appointment!