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The Kindest Cut: Believe it or Not, There is a Proper Way to Trim Your Toenails!

Have you been doing it wrong this whole time?

Although it may occasionally surprise you, you certainly know your body well. Chances are you’ve got a pretty good routine down pat for how you take care of it. However, just because you have been doing something the same way forever doesn’t mean it’s correct.

Take your toenails, for example. You’ve probably given them a trim hundreds of times, but are you trimming them the right way? To avoid infections or ingrown nails be sure to follow these six tips:

Use the right tool

You probably know it’s not the best idea to grab a pair of scissors to cut your toenails, and that clippers are the way to go. However, there is a difference between toenail clippers and fingernail clippers and it is important to use the right tool for each job.

Don’t cut them too short

If you think trimming your nails is a chore and you want to put it off as long as possible, you may be tempted to cut them very short. This isn’t a good idea because it could lead to an ingrown nail. Your toenails provide protection to your toes, so if you suffer a hit to your foot, without that buffer, you’ll feel it even more.

Make sure they’re straight

It’s important that nails are straight; if they are curved or at an angle, this is another way you are putting yourself at risk for an ingrown nail. When cutting, be sure to go straight across the top of the nail, evenly.

Dry them first

Many people decide to cut their toenails right after a shower, which is a mistake. Wet nails are softer, and this makes them more susceptible to bending or tearing when they’re being cut. Be sure your nails are completely dry before beginning to trim them.

Leave your cuticles alone

If you’re not happy with the way your cuticles look, there are tools you can use to push them back, such as a cuticle stick. But cutting them is not a good idea, as this can be painful and may lead to irritation or an infection.

Follow up with a file

After you’re done cutting, it is a great idea to use an emery board or file to smooth your nails out and get rid of any uneven edges. Be careful not to saw back and forth; the best way to file nails is to glide the board or file across the top of your nail in one direction.

If you already have an ingrown toenail or other issue, the right trimming techniques won’t help; you will need to have your toe looked at by a doctor. To avoid the problem getting worse, make an appointment to see Dr. Nina Coletta. You can call our office at 954-452-4590 or send us an email at

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