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Prairie Path Foot & Ankle Clinic

There is a "right" way to cut toenails

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Believe it or not there is actually a correct way to cut toenails. With keeping some tips in kind, you can prevent problems with your toenails.

-Don't cut your nails too short.  There should be at least 1-2mm of the white part of the nail remaining. Don't wait for them to grow too long either; if they are too long, they may break off unevenly, or get caught on your socks or sheets and traumatically tear causing an injury.

-Cut your toenails straight across. It is tempting to cut at an angle in the corners either to make them look nice or to "dig" a corner out, but resist the temptation! This is a sure fire way to irritate the corners and perhaps cause an infected ingrown nail. See your podiatrist if you see a corner of the nail growing into the skin

-Don't cut your cuticle. A better way is to push them back after soaking in water or using a lotion or cream

-if your toenails are too thick to cut, if they hurt, or if they are discolored, see your podiatrist! This could indicate a fungal infection, trauma, or an impending nail infection or ingrown nail.  Our doctors may suggest a nail biopsy to properly diagnose any underlying cause of your toenail problem. 

If you have any foot or ankle questions from dermatology to sports medicine, give Prairie Path a call. Our doctors will be able to diagnose your problem and come up with a treatment plan.

Category: Troublesome Toenails

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