On the subject of toenails

Monday, 25 February 2013

On the subject of toenailsYou might think asking if you know how to cut your toenails is a ridiculous question – after all, you just cut your toenails, right? And you’re done. Surely? Well, according to the experts (that would be chiropodists and the like) most of us are getting it terribly wrong and that’s why we get ingrown toenails. And if you’ve ever had one of those, you will know the outrageous agony such a silly thing can cause. Not to mention the fact that it takes a jolly long 90 days for a destroyed toenail to grow back. So. How should we be cutting our toenails?

Well, the simple answer is: straight across. The only people allowed to have rounded toenails, according to Dr Luisa Dillner in The Guardian, are ballet dancers who have to dance en pointe (on their tippy-toes). The rest of us have to cut straight across or pay the consequences (an extremely painful ingrown toenail).

Avoid trimming toenails too short, as this can also cause the nail to grow into the skin – and after all, your nails are there for a reason (no, not so you’ve got somewhere to put your pretty nail polish): to protect your toes.

Use nail scissors or clippers to do the job properly.

If you do think you’re getting an ingrown toenail soak your affected foot in some warm water laced with Epsom Salts. Once the skin has softened, massage the area gently to relieve the swelling. Do not attempt DIY surgery by poking about with a pair of scissors! You will simply introduce more bacteria, and make the problem worse, possibly even ending up with osteomyelitis – that is, a nasty bone infection. Go to a doctor!

If your nails are curving in some way, it could be a sign of something other than nails with no sense of direction. If your nails tend to curve upwards, it could be indicative of an iron or zinc deficiency or of thyroid problems. Nails that tend to curve downwards may indicate problems with your heart or liver, or a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Either way, get yourself checked out by a doctor.

Of course, the best thing for your feet is to allow them to roam freely, like little flat animals. So whenever you have the chance, whip those Manolo Blahniks off your poor, trapped feet, and walk with your feet directly on the ground. Feel the sand between your toes!

Image: Shutterstock.com

Other articles you may be interested in:

Resuce my nails
Do your own pedi
Do your own mani
Nail your personality
Five nail shapes for your next manicure

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  1. Tundee

    I’m one of the people who just cut my nails… Next time I cut them I’ll be sure to remember this article

    5 years ago •

  1. TJK

    Thanks for the article. I never trim my nails in the bedroom and I always make sure they are flushed down the toilet! Nothing worse that standing on a random toe nail – bleh

    5 years ago •

  1. margsc

    we do abuse our poor feet! I try to go shoe-free as often as possible – at home mostly! and I do love to feel the sand between my toes (great natural exfoliator!), but need to get down to the coast for that.
    thanks for the good advice :)

    5 years ago •

  1. ProMakeupMe

    Ingrown toenails can develop into something really painful if you do not take the right steps to treat it.. Good advise, thank you :)

    5 years ago •

  1. me

    Straight cut and a little v cut into the white of my second toe nail keeps it from growing in.

    5 years ago •

  1. StephanieM

    In grown nails are painful… thank you for the info, will opt for straight cuts and filling now…

    5 years ago •

  1. DebbieT

    Love this article. so many helpful hints!

    5 years ago •

  1. Tarka

    Oh yes it could be tempting to cut your own toenails but really leave it to the pros, a bonus is a massage that comes with having a pedicure. I just love the pedicures

    5 years ago •

  1. kunene

    So that’s why my toe nails grow into my skin!

    5 years ago •

  1. Leana

    Great article! I always do the over cut toenails… and it hurts! :(

    6 years ago •

  1. Hess

    Never thought it could go that wrong! Super careful now!

    6 years ago •

  1. Noma

    I wear stilettos during the week and on Sunday at church, but as soon as I get home… I take them off and give my feet a breather….

    6 years ago •

  1. SpiceY

    After being in stilettos all day the best thing for my feet is definitely the ground!!!!

    6 years ago •

  1. Harte-Joubert

    Very good advice. It is good to rest your feet by not wearing shoes in the evenings, or though I must admit i do like wearing just socks.

    6 years ago •

  1. voges

    I like it when you said walk with your feet directly on the ground

    6 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    Sjoe, i love pretty feet, so this advice is great.

    6 years ago •

  1. Lauren

    Great tips, nothing worse than ugly feet.

    6 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    Thanks, I always cut mine across, else it is painful.

    6 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    Very Interesting! Love walking barefeet

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    Eeek! I shudder just thinking about what the ladies at nail salons have to put up with on a daily basis.

    6 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    WHOA!!! I didn’t know my downwards curving nails might be indication of possible heart or liver problem, I’ll make an appointment for check-up.Thank you greatly

    6 years ago •

  1. Chocolates

    Thank you for reminding me to cut my toenails square!

    6 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I have broken both my big toenails and they have taken forever to grow back, they will always have ridges now sadley!

    6 years ago •

  1. Nettie

    i love it when my toes look pretty and feminine.

    6 years ago •

  1. Riekie

    Good article, feet gotta look good always

    6 years ago •

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