Start the New Year on the Right Foot: Learn How To Clip Your Toenails Properly

Start the New Year on the Right Foot: Learn How To Clip Your Toenails Properly

Some of your new year’s resolutions are probably proactive. You might be aiming to read more books or get more exercise, for example. But, don’t forget that some of the best ways to improve the coming year come down to prevention. 

For example, wouldn’t you like to prevent getting ingrown toenails? You can go a long way toward that goal by learning how to trim them right.

At Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center — with offices in Laveen, Chandler, and Mesa, Arizona — we offer specialized care for ingrown toenails. However, we know you’d rather keep from getting them in the first place. So, in this blog, our providers explain the best way to trim your toenails, so you can help keep them healthy.

1. The right length

There’s a sweet spot here. Cutting your nails too short can allow a nail to grow into your nail bed, creating an ingrown toenail. But, leaving them too long can allow them to catch on something and tear. If that tear goes into your nail bed, this can also lead to an ingrown toenail.

In general, you should keep your toenails about 1-2 millimeters (0.04-0.08 inches) above where they attach to your toes. Just trim them so you can see a tiny amount of the unattached white parts of the nails.

2. The right cut

If you only take one thing away from this guide, let it be this: Clip your toenails straight across. If you cut your toenails so they curve with your toe, you risk developing an ingrown toenail. 

This is because pressure from your shoes could cause areas of the nails to dig into the nail beds. While rounded nail edges might work for your fingernails, your fingernails likely aren't under the pressure your toenails are. Instead, trim your nails straight across.

3. The right frequency

Monitor your nail growth and trim them when needed. While most people need to trim their toenails every six weeks or so, you might need to trim yours more or less frequently.

When the nail starts to extend past the tip of your toe, it’s time to get out those clippers. Just remember to not cut them too short, and trim them straight across. Furthermore, you may be able to go longer between trims if you file your toenails.

Get the right care for your feet

Following the tips we listed above can greatly reduce your risk of developing ingrown toenails. However, they can still occur. For example, dropping something on your toe could result in an ingrown toenail.

The good news is we can help you get well as quickly as possible. We’ll give your toe a thorough evaluation and discuss your next steps, which could involve treatment here at the office as well as at-home care.

To learn more about taking care of your toenails, or to get any other care for your feet or ankles, book an appointment online or over the phone with Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Hammertoe Hereditary?

Is Hammertoe Hereditary?

If you’re dealing with hammertoe, you might be wondering if your parents could be to blame. Your genes might have something to do with it, sure, but you should know about a much more common cause of hammertoe.