What’s the Right Way Cut Your Toe Nails?

Every day we see and treat toenails that have been trimmed incorrectly and have caused red, swollen and painful toes. So our podiatrists have asked us to give you the real deal on correct nail cutting.

Correct nail trimming tips

Some people think they’re doing the right thing when they cut a wedge into the middle or cut down the sides of their toenails. Some people think it’s OK to cut their nails with wire cutters or tin snips. And some people just tear their nails off with their hands or with pliers! Please don’t use these nail cutting techniques.

Correct foot care and hygiene will help keep you active and pain free in the long term. It’s a small thing, but knowing how to trim your nails properly can save you ongoing problems with pain, inflammation and infection.

So here are the golden rules:

  • Use good quality sharp, clean clippers with a straight cutting edge.
  • Cut straight across your nail.
  • Leave a millimetre or two free in front of your nail bed (the pink bit).
  • Gently smooth and round each corner with a file. Don’t file hard or down the sides… just smooth the sharpness off each corner.

That’s it! Simple.

If you have any pain, swelling, redness, blood or discharge from your toes, it’s best to for a podiatrist to check and help with your nails. If you have diabetes or circulation problems a podiatrist should trim your nails for you regularly. They’ll also check the nerve function and circulation in your feet and alert you and your doctor to any changes. If you have any concerns or questions about your toenails, please call 9319 3030. We’d love to help.


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