Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Are You Clipping Your Toenails Properly?

Are You Clipping Your Toenails Properly?

You might think that clipping your toenails is a straightforward activity, hardly deserving of much thought. However, improper toenail care can lead to complications like ingrown toenails and fungal infections.

At Concord Podiatry, our foot and ankle specialist, Dr. David E. Biss, prioritizes your foot health. From treating foot ailments to guiding you on proper foot care, our practice is dedicated to ensuring that you walk through life as comfortably as possible. Here’s the proper technique for clipping your toenails.

Use the right tools for toenails

The first step in proper toenail care is having the right tools for the job. A good pair of toenail clippers that are specifically designed for the task is essential. Clippers should be sharp as well as clean to prevent any bacterial infection.

Avoid using fingernail clippers on your toenails, as they may not be sturdy enough for thicker toenails. Doing so can lead to splitting or breaking rather than getting a clean cut, making you susceptible to infections. At Concord Podiatry, we can recommend the best tools for your foot care needs.

Clip toenails straight across

Many people believe they should be rounding their toenails when they clip them — but this can be harmful. It often leads to ingrown toenails, a painful condition that may require professional treatment. Instead, clip your nails straight across, and then use a file to slightly smooth out any sharp edges.

The aim is to keep your toenails long enough so the nail’s corners lie loosely against the skin. This is where expert advice from Concord Podiatry can prove to be invaluable. Dr. Biss can provide personalized guidelines based on the condition of your toenails.

Avoid cutting toenails too short

Overzealous toenail clipping can be as damaging as leaving them too long. Cutting your toenails too short can expose the sensitive skin underneath, making it prone to infection. This is especially crucial if you have a condition that affects your nerves and blood vessels like diabetes

If you're uncertain about the right length for your toenails, it's best to consult with a podiatric expert. 

Clean your toes before and after

Cleanliness is key in any aspect of personal care, and toenail clipping is no exception. Make sure to wash your feet before clipping your toenails to remove any bacteria or fungi that may be present. Dry your feet thoroughly as well.

After clipping your toenails, rinse your feet again to wash away any nail debris. This simple but effective practice can save you a visit to Concord Podiatry for a treatable, yet avoidable, foot infection.

Soften toenails before cutting

Clipping hard, brittle nails increases the risk of splitting or fracturing the nail, which can lead to infections or other complications. It's a good idea to soften your toenails before you start clipping them.

The easiest way to do this is to clip your toenails after a shower or bath. If your toenails are particularly hard, soaking your feet in warm water for a few minutes can help make the clipping process easier.

How often you should clip your toenails depends on how quickly they grow. However, most people find that clipping every two to three weeks is sufficient. Regular foot checkups at Concord Podiatry can also help maintain your toenail health, and Dr. Biss can ensure that you’re clipping them at an appropriate frequency.

Proper toenail care is more than just a cosmetic concern; it's essential for maintaining good foot health. By following these guidelines, you can prevent a range of foot problems that could otherwise disrupt your daily life. 

For expert advice tailored to your specific needs, call our office in Concord and Plymouth, New Hampshire, to schedule a visit today. We're dedicated to helping you put your best foot forward.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can My Ingrown Toenail Heal on Its Own?

Can My Ingrown Toenail Heal on Its Own?

An ingrown toenail is one of the most common nail issues. In some cases, you can manage an ingrown toenail on your own, but if pain is severe or there are signs of infection, it’s best to get professional help.
How Are Sports Injuries Different From Other Injuries?

How Are Sports Injuries Different From Other Injuries?

Foot and ankle injuries in sports pose unique challenges that set them apart from other athletic injuries. They require special care from a provider well-versed in the complexities of treating and recovering from this type of injury.
Can Orthotics Correct My Bunions?

Can Orthotics Correct My Bunions?

Bunions are more than just a cosmetic concern. They're a source of discomfort, sometimes even pain. However, a simple addition to your footwear could provide relief and possibly reshape your walking journey.
Do Bunions Resolve on Their Own?

Do Bunions Resolve on Their Own?

Bunions, unsightly bumps that develop on the side of your foot near your toes, can become a painful daily ordeal. While waiting to see if a bunion will go away may be your first instinct, it’s best to speak with a podiatrist and get treatment.
Common Signs of Foot and Ankle Arthritis

Common Signs of Foot and Ankle Arthritis

Your feet carry you everywhere, supporting the weight of your body and the demands of your day. But when arthritis starts to set in, every step can become a painful reminder of this condition.