your toenails may seem simple enough, but it isn't something to be done carelessly. While most people don't need to visit a professional to take care of their toes - people with diabetes are an exception they need to be sure they're clipping their nails properly to reduce the risk of future foot problems.
You depend on your feet, so make sure you give them the care they deserve. Before you break out the nail clippers, you should understand why it's so important that toenails be cut the right way. Ingrown toenails, (that become lodged in the skin instead of growing normally) are a primary reason for foot pain & can lead to serious infection.
Some nails just naturally grow in & no matter what you do conservatively; it's not going to address the problem. Instead, it needs to be addressed surgically. But if you learn how to cut your toenails properly in the first place, you may be able to protect your feet from ingrown toenails.
Cut Straight Across:
The nails shouldn't dig down on the sides. Guide the clippers straight across the nail of each toe & avoid cutting nails into a curved shape.
Use Appropriate Toenail Clippers:
These larger clippers are meant for larger nails & will be easier to cut toenails with than fingernail clippers. Keep clippers & any other tools you use on your toes disinfected (cleaning them with rubbing alcohol before & after using them will do the trick).
Leave Nails a Little Long:
Don't cut nails too short, as it's another reason ingrown toenails occur. It can also leave your toenail susceptible to infection - plus, it hurts!
Cut Nails When They're Dry:
Wet nails may be likely to tear, bend, or not cut smoothly because they're softer when wet. Cutting dry nails will give you a cleaner, smoother cut.
Make a Few Small Cuts:
Don't try to clip each toenail in one shot. Make a few small cuts across your nail.
If you prefer to file your toenails (or just to smooth them out after you clip them), don't drag the file or emery board back & forth. Gently move the nail file in one direction across the top of your toenail until smooth & the appropriate length.
Don't Cut Cuticles:
If you want to tame cuticles on your toenails, use a cuticle stick (an orange stick, which you can buy at a beauty supply store, drugstore, or similar store) to push them back. Cutting them can cause bleeding or infection, but pushing them out of the way gives feet a neat look without unnecessary damage.