Pedicure: Trimming Toenails: The Basics
- Cut straight across:. Guide the clippers straight across the nail of each toe and avoid cutting nails into a curved shape.
- Use appropriate toenail clippers. These larger clippers are meant for larger nails, and will be easier to cut toenails with than fingernail clippers. Keep clippers and any other tools you use on your toes disinfected (cleaning them with rubbing alcohol before and 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, not wet. 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.
- Try filing. 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 and forth. Gently move the nail file in one direction across the top of your toenail until smooth and 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.