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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
trimming toenails using a nail clipper
Image by Chanonnat Srisura / Shutterstock
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How to Properly Trim Your Toenails

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While it may not be at the forefront of everyone’s healthcare routine, cutting your toenails properly is an extremely important process. Not only does clipping your nails regularly maintain a clean and professional appearance, but it also reduces the amount of bacteria and grime that collects underneath the nails.

If trimming is neglected, you can quickly create a breeding ground for infections, ingrown toenails, and hangnails. Therefore, it’s safe to say that a little bit of regular toenail maintenance goes a long way in protecting your overall health. With a simple and straightforward activity like clipping toenails, you may be questioning if there are legitimate steps and recommendations on properly trimming. Turns out, there are indeed. Follow below as we guide you through the top tips to correctly trim those toenails.

Tools and Sanitation

Before you begin to clip your nails, it’s critical to make sure you actually have the correct tools to do the job. For your toenails, use specific clippers meant for this region. Instead of smaller tools that target the smaller fingernails, toenail clippers are typically larger and more adept at safely trimming the bigger toenails. With your tool selected, you are not quite ready to start clipping just yet. In order to reduce the threat of bringing in even more bacteria to the area, make sure you clean and sanitize your toenail clippers thoroughly every month. Soaking in a cleaning alcohol-based substance, rinsing with hot water, and drying thoroughly is the most common tool-cleaning method.

Soak and Trim

Now equipped with the proper tools, you can move on to the actual trimming process. If you have the opportunity, soften your nails by soaking them in the bath, shower, or simply a bowl of warm water. Trim straight across of your properly prepared toenails, making sure to leave the cuticles intact. The cuticle is a delicate portion of clear skin at the bottom of your toenail that protects growing nails against incoming bacteria. With your first cut, attempt to trim the nail and leave a straight edge; then, your next cut can come through and follow this straight edge line and finish the job. Cutting your toenails straight is a good way to prevent those unforgiving ingrown toenails.

File and Hydrate

To avoid any rough edges and new tears to the growing nail, use an emery board or traditional nail file. Make sure to file your nail in one consistent direction throughout the process. Setting aside time to hydrate and moisturize your freshly trimmed nail area, with either warm water or lotion, will help prevent nails splitting due to a dry environment.

Properly trimming and maintaining the health of your toenails is not a health practice to overlook. These seemingly small steps and processes will be a major contributor to overall good health, if taken seriously. Following the above advice is truly simple and will let you enjoy your life without having to constantly deal with the pesky annoyances of ingrown toenails and infections.

Remember to properly prepare your feet and tools for trimming, cut straight across your nails, and file and moisturize to help the nails better recover. You are now equipped with the knowledge to correctly trim your nails. Stay healthy and best of luck!

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Matt
GR8NESS Writer
Matt is a GR8NESS contributing writer on such subjects as pets, CBD, pain relief, sexual health, time management, and family & parenting. When he's not placed in the awkward position of referring to himself in the third person, Matt tries to keep two Dachshunds, an 18-year old daughter, and one wife blissfully happy but not necessarily in that order.
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