Medically the evaluation by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — created by Scott Frothingham — to update on might 30, 2018

The best method to reduced toenails

Cutting your toenails appropriately is crucial step in staying clear of painful ingrown toenails — a condition when nails curve and also grow right into the skin, which regularly leads to pain and sometimes to infection.

You are watching: How to cut toenails properly video

There are 6 main components or procedures to cutting her toenails properly.

1. Pond clippers

The an initial step is to usage the suitable nail-cutting tool. Pond clippers or manicure scissors space appropriate. Avoid tools together as constant scissors or knives the aren’t especially designed because that cutting nails.

You should have actually two nail clippers — one for your fingers and also one for your toes. Because your toenails are more comprehensive and thicker, they need a bigger clipper. Also, by having actually separate clippers, you alleviate the possibility of carrying bacteria or fungus in between your feet and also hands. Make certain to clean your clippers thoroughly in between each use.

2. Reduced frequency

The 2nd step is the frequency that cutting. Most people’s toenails grow about 2 millimeter (0.08 inches) a month, so it’s ideal to cut them every six to eight weeks. The being said, if you are a very active person or one athlete — specifically a runner — friend will more than likely be an ext comfortable if girlfriend trim them an ext often.

3. Cut wet or dried nails

The third step is comment a usual question: “Should I reduced my nails prior to or after i shower?” In most cases, the answer is “before.” dry toenails are less likely to bending or tear when you cut them, so friend will obtain a cleaner cut.

For civilization with very thick toenails, cutting will be simpler after a shower.

4. Time between cuts

The 4th step is determining how long come leave your toenails complying with the cut. This is important, because cutting her toenails too quick could heighten your risk for structure toenails. If you leave your toenails too long, lock are an ext likely come get caught on something and tear.

It’s recommended the you preserve your toenails in ~ a length of about 1 to 2 millimeters (0.04 come 0.08 inches).

5. Cutting the nail

The fifth step is the actual cut. To avoid painful structure toenails, reduced your toenails straight across. For plenty of people, this is easiest to do in 2 cuts — the very first one with the clippers slightly off the side of the pond to create a directly edge; the 2nd to remove the rest of the nail complying with the heat of the straight cut.

6. Filing the nail

The sixth and also final step is to record your nails v an emery board to smooth any kind of jagged edges that can snag and also potentially tear the pond as the grows.


Your toenails can be thick for any of a number of reasons, including:

injury tight-fitting shoes

To properly reduced your thick toenails, follow these steps:

Soak your feet in warmth water for at least 10 minute to soften her nails, and also then use a towel to extensively dry her feet and toenails.Using a pond clipper, make little cuts to protect against splintering the nail and cut straight across. To lessen the chance of the nail becoming ingrown, don’t round turn off the corners.Use one emery board to smooth edges and also corners that could snag.

If her thickened toenails space painful or you nothing think that you can safely cut your toenails without help, asking your physician for advice.

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Cutting toenails v fungus is similar to the procedure for cutting thick toenails. If you leave the fungus untreated, her nails will proceed to thicken and also might obtain to a thickness that calls for some additional action including:

medical-grade toenail clippers, as typical clippers may not have the ability to cut all the way through and also can slip turn off the nail and also cut her skin longer foot soak (20 or 30 minute in warm water) clipper disinfection using alcohol or diluted bleach

If friend think the you have actually a fungal infection, do an appointment to view your doctor.