What’s the Best Way to Groom Toenails?

You might think that a simple thing like grooming toenails couldn’t cause any harm. But if you groom toenails incorrectly, you could actually end up needing to visit your podiatrist in Austin, TX. There are actually good ways and bad ways to groom toenails. Here’s a guide for steps to take.

Groom Toenails Regularly

It’s easier to groom toenails that aren’t in too bad of shape. The longer you wait in between grooming sessions, the harder it is to groom them. Left untended, toenails have a tendency to curl inward, get caught on socks and shoes or become thick and hardened. Regular toenail grooming also makes it more likely that you’ll notice any irregularities in your toenails, such as blackening, that might require the immediate attention of your Austin, TX podiatrist.

Soak Toenails First

If you are older and have thickened toenails, you’ll have an easier time of it if you soak your toenails first. In fact, anyone who wants to trim toenails should do so after the nails have had a chance to soften. You can either soak feet in a foot spa appliance in warm water or simply wait until after a long shower or bath.

Use Proper Grooming Tools

Always use tools specially made for grooming toenails. These may include toenail scissors or extra wide and straight nail clippers. Note that nail clippers for fingernails have a radius that is too narrow for toenails. Never use kitchen scissors to cut toenails. Never tear toenails across. You won’t get a clean tear, and you risk tearing down into the “quick” of the nail.

File Straight, Not Curved

If you are looking for a fashionable shape for your toenails, you may be tempted to file a curve along the edges of the nail. But you should not have the curve go down the side of the nail. Instead, the sides should be straight. If you want a little curve, do so only at the top of the nail. Otherwise, you run the risk of inviting an ingrown nail to develop as the nail grows out from the curve.

Use Clean Tools

It’s easy to get a nail infection if you use unclean tools. Always disinfect grooming tools before use, and don’t share them with other family members.

Try to visit with your podiatrist in Austin, TX on a regular basis. Routine feet exams can help ensure that your feet and toenails stay healthy. Contact us for more information any time.