Safe Way To Cut Nails


How to cut your nails the safe way

On a regular basis, podiatrists see and treat toenails that have been trimmed incorrectly and have resulted in inflamed, swollen painful toes. So how should we cut our nails the safe way?


As a thumb of rule:

  • Always use a good quality sharp, clean clippers with a straight cutting edge.

  • Always cut the nail straight across following the natural curve of the toe, allowing a small amount of the free edge to remain as shown below.

  • Leave a millimeter or two free in front of your nail bed and gently smooth and round each corner with a nail file.


The Don't(s):

  • Do not cut down the sides or into the corners of the nails as this is the easiest way to cause an ingrown toenail. This may cause unnecessary pain and the risk of infection.

  • Do not poke or stick any sharp or pointed instruments down the side of the nail.

  • Do not leave sharp or pointed edges on the nails as these may cut into the next toe when you wear your shoes.

  • Do not cut Vs into the middle of the nail - it will not make the nail grow any differently.


Minor nail and toe problems self-care info:

Dry skin, cracks, and fissures

  • Use an emollient cream such as sorbolene every day preferably after your shower.

  • Never put the cream between the toes.


Moisture between the toes

  • Dry carefully between the toes after your shower or bath.

  • It may help if you use an evaporative lotion such as methylated spirits.

  • Avoid the heavy use of talcum powder.



  • Do not burst the blister.

  • Protect it from further friction and dry it up.

  • If broken, then cover with an antiseptic such as betadine and a sterile dressing.

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