Perhaps you are naturally frugal and always take care of your own nails. Or maybe you overspent during the holidays, and now you are looking for ways to cut corners and get your budget back on track. That might mean giving up getting a pedicure this month—or for several months! Either way, if you aren’t used to doing your nails on your own, here are tips for how to trim toenails that will help keep your feet safe and your nails looking great.
- Wash, but don’t soak, your feet. You want your toenails clean, but they shouldn’t be so wet or soft that they tear while you work on them. That’s why you should never try to remove jagged edges by picking at your nails, either. The risk of damage and infection is too great.
- Use the right tool. The best thing is a sharp clipper made for toenails, or a sturdy manicure scissors. It’s a good idea to sterilize it by rubbing with alcohol first; you don’t want to transfer fungi and bacteria to your nail or skin.
- Make the right cuts. Your nails need to be long enough that the tender skin they grow from is protected, but not so long that they bang against your shoes. They should also be cut straight across, not rounded down at the corners, to prevent ingrowing. Use several short nips rather than trying to get the whole nail in one cut.
- Smooth things out. Use an emery board, filing in one direction, to smooth away any jagged edges left from your cuts that could snag your socks or cause the nail to tear.
- Don’t cut the skin. Take care that the tips of the tool don’t nick your skin when trimming, and don’t cut your cuticles. Any opening in the skin is an invitation for infection.
If you have trouble seeing or reaching your toes, be sure to get proper help. This is also a good time to check your feet for any irregularities. If you find a problem, give Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center at call in Lakewood, CO, at (303) 423-2520 and set up an appointment. We are your go-to source for great foot care.