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Proper Way to Cut and File Toenails

Most people find foot care a bothersome task that they would rather not have to perform. However, proper foot care helps to ensure healthy skin and nails. It is important to know the correct way to cut as well as file the toenails. If improperly cut, a toenail can become an ingrown toenail and eventually become infected if the ingrown piece of nail is not removed correctly. Some very basic instructions to follow when cutting and filing the toenails are as follows:

• Before beginning the process of cutting the toenails, one should soak the toenails in warm, soapy water for about twenty minutes followed by a thorough rinsing and drying. This will soften the nails and allow for easier cutting and less splitting and breaking of the nails.
• If soaking is not an option, some type of moisturizing cream can be applied to the nails to help soften and condition them before cutting. The cream will need to be thickly applied and should stay on the nails for at least twenty minutes. Use a clean and dry towel to remove any excess cream from the nails before beginning the cutting process. • One should start by cutting the nail straight across with a nail clipper. First cut one half of the nail either the right or the left and then follow by cutting the other half. Never cut part of the nail off and then proceed to pull the remaining part off as this will cause crooked toenails. Once cutting is completed, every toenail will slightly peak in the center.
• Filing of the nails can now begin. Start with filing the peak down with a nail file and follow with filing the corners of the toenails. This should be done to each nail until all ten nails have received proper filing.
• Filing will leave a fine dust on the toes and feet. First, brush the dust off and gently wash feet with warm water to get rid of any excess dust. Dry feet thoroughly and be sure to also dry between each toe as well.
• Finally, moisturization is an important part of nail care. Simply rub a small amount of some type of oil or lotion on every toenail and the surrounding skin of the toes. This helps to keep the nail soft and prevent cracking and chipping.

Some Basic Tips

There are some very basic things that individuals can do to help in keeping their toenails healthy and appealing to the eye. Some suggestions may work for one individual and not for another as each is different and being consistent and staying dedicated to delivering proper foot and nail care is an option for all. Basic tips for added care are as listed:

• Select a nail clipper that is designed to cut straight across to help in the prevention of ingrown toenails.
• Clean nail clippers before and after each use to prevent the possibility of a fungal infection of the nails.
• When cutting the nails, avoid making any sharp points on the nail that would possibly cut into the skin and cause an infection.
• Never file the nails immediately after being in water such as after a shower or following a swim in the pool as the nails may split due to weakness.
• Each day use some sort of oil or cream on toenails to aid in keeping moisture locked in. This will help in the prevention of splitting as well as flaking. Olive oil found in most kitchens can also be used with wonderful results.
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