Keeping your toenails properly maintained is an important part of your foot health.
Trimming your toenails may seem like a pretty simple task. Chances are you don’t even put much thought into it. However, ingrown toenails can be a miserable problem if it happens to you. From the office of our Gainesville, VA podiatrist, Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, find out how to properly maintain your toenails for good foot health.
It’s All in the Technique
Before you start to grab your nail clippers, it’s important that you understand the importance of trimming your toenails the proper way. This is how you will stave off infection or ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails may not seem like a major issue but it is a common cause of foot pain and can lead to a severe infection (particularly in those with diabetes and circulation disorders).
Here’s how you should be trimming your toenails:
- Trim straight across: Your toenails should never be trimmed at a curve. If nails are curved into the sides of your toes, then you aren’t trimming them right. Next time you cut your nails make sure that you use your clippers to clip your toenail straight rather than at a curve.
- Use the right tools: If you’ve been using your fingernail clippers to tackle your large toenails then it’s time you swapped them out for a larger pair of clippers. These are meant to actually be able to trim larger nails, like toenails. Once you are done using them, disinfect them with rubbing alcohol. Before you use them again, clean them with rubbing alcohol first.
- Don’t trim too short: Most people go to town on their nails, but our Gainesville foot doctor says that if you want to prevent problems, then you shouldn't cut your toenails too short. Not only will a nail that is too short hurt, but it can also lead to infection. A good rule of thumb is to trim nails so that they are even with the tip of your toenails.
- Dry nails are the best nails: It may seem as if a nail that has just been in the shower is easier to cut, but they won’t cut as smoothly if they are wet. In order to get a clean cut, you will want to wait until your nails are completely dry.
If you are noticing any changes to your feet or suspect that you might have an ingrown toenail, it’s always a safe bet to visit Prince William Foot & Ankle Center in Gainesville, VA to get a proper diagnosis. Some issues will require professional medical attention in order to heal.