Nail trimmingHere in the desert we have two seasons: sandal season and not sandal season. Since it’s almost time for sandal season to make a comeback, we’ve decided to give you a few pointers on good nail care, specifically how to trim your nails properly. Having nails that are in tip-top condition is one part of looking and feeling your best once it’s time to break out those sandals.

So just what is the importance of trimming your nails the right way? Unfortunately, our feet are crammed into shoes most of the day, and if you mix that with improperly cut nails, you may end up with an ingrown toenail. For some people an ingrown nail is just a pain, but for someone with diabetes it can be very dangerous if an infection occurs. Instead of dealing with the pain, simply follow these steps:

Tips To Properly Cutting Toenails

  • Trim straight across and not in a curved fashion. This will help prevent the sides from digging into the skin.
  • Use toenail clippers as they are larger and designed for larger nails.
  • Disinfect your toenail clippers after every use.
  • Leave your nails a little long. This will prevent any pain caused by having nails that are too short, and it also prevents the nails from growing up into the skin.
  • Trim your nails when they are dry, not wet. When your nails are wet, they become softer and are more likely to tear or become jagged.
  • Don’t cut them in one shot. Instead, make a few small cuts across the nail.
  • File them to get rid of rough corners and edges. You can use a nail file or emery board for this.

Stop Toenails From Curling on the Sides

Ingrown toenails can be caused from the toenails curling in on the sides. Do not dig into the sides! Learn how to prevent them from curling. First, don't cut your toenails too short and cut them straight across. You can file your toenails if they do not require cutting. Also, make sure your shoes are wide enough for your feet. Tight, narrow shoes can cause your toenails to begin to curl. 

Wet or Dry- Which is the Best for Cutting Toenails

Cutting your toenails when they are wet can lead to problems. When your toenails are wet, they are more susceptible to tearing or bending. It can be harder to get an even cut while they are wet, which can result in toenails getting caught on clothing or blankets. It is best to cut your toenails when they are dry. Cut your toenails with a few small cuts rather than trying to cut your whole toenail in one cut. 

Dr. Viedra V. Elison
Founder and Managing Partner of Fixing Feet Institute
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Surprise, AZ Office
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