Trimming your toenails

Friday, 28 September 2012

Trimming your toenailsWhen you whip out your footsies this summer, make sure they’re in tiptop shape. BeautyHeaven shows you how to trim those toenails, correctly.

Did you know that cutting toenails incorrectly can lead to ingrown nails, nail fungus and foot pain? The way you cut your toenails directly affects the way in which they grow. Cutting toenails too rounded can force the nail to curl around and grow in on itself, leading to painful piercing of the skin and potential infection. Leaving the nails too long can encourage them to retain dampness, which can also lead to infection.

Confused? Well don’t be. We’ve got the straightforward tips on cutting toenails right, every time.

How to cut toenails


1. Choose the right clippers: avoid using the same clippers for your fingernails and your toenails. A good pair of toenail clippers will be slightly wider and flatter than regular fingernail clippers. Sterilise them with rubbing alcohol between every use and don’t share with friends.

2. Choose the right time: avoid cutting nails straight out of the shower as wet nails are softer and more vulnerable to tearing. Instead, always work on dry, clean nails.

3. Choose the right cut: cut nails by guiding the clippers straight across each toe and avoid curving downwards to round the nails as curved nails can become ingrown nails. Do each nail in a few small cuts, rather than one large cut, which may cause the nail to pull back from the skin.

4. Choose the length: avoid cutting nails too short as this can also lead to ingrown toenails. If you like them short, cut to just beneath the tip of the toe, no more than a millimetre.

5. If you’re a filer, not a clipper… if you prefer to file rather than cut, avoid using a back and forth sawing motion with the file and instead gently move the file across the nail in one direction until smooth.

This article originally appeared on BeautyHeaven.

Image: AXL/Shutterstock.com

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.

Megan on Google+

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  1. Afsana Chhipa

    I always cut my nails too short and then find it difficult to wear closed shoes for a few days. I think I’ll try filing rather.

    2 years ago •

  1. Sue1N

    I tend to cut too short sometimes and ingrown toenails are no fun!

    4 years ago •

  1. Heidi G

    Thank you for these tips as I suffer from ingrown toenails.

    4 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I hate clipping my toe nails! Prefer to file

    5 years ago •

  1. Lauren

    I reckon I need to try filing instead of clipping – I always go too short when I clip.

    5 years ago •

  1. smiley

    Good tips to keep feet summer ready. yipppii

    5 years ago •

  1. JamieBaby

    Great tips for great looking toes in Summer!

    5 years ago •

  1. Cass1231

    didnt know there was a wrong way to do this…wow.. so informative!

    5 years ago •

  1. Reigh-J

    I’ve always thought the best time to cut toenails is after a shower- clearly i’ve been misinformed. Thanks for the great tips.

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    This reminds me… I was going to do my toenails this weekend. Off I go.

    5 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    wow i never knew this been doing it wrong all along luckly i have no ingrown toenails yet

    5 years ago •

  1. miss_hle

    I can’t wait to show my feet in summer! These tips will definitely help. Thank you!

    5 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    I’m the filer, not a clipper, my nails are so hard I can lose an eyeball if I clip.

    5 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    oops, very informative article, will try to action.

    5 years ago •

  1. Noma

    Wish I read this article yesterday. Trimmed my toe nails last night and didn’t do a good job at it… *sigh*

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    My hubby has problems with ingrown nails, but he also always cuts after shower….mmmm… maybe that is it. Will forward this to him. Thanks!

    5 years ago •

  1. Chicara

    Love these tips! I really needed to read this – I’m guilty of a few of the bad things like using the wrong nail clipper. Ooops!

    5 years ago •

  1. CarolynMcM

    Thanks for the great tips! In the winter I do my own nails, but in the summer I go for regular pedis.

    5 years ago •

  1. Sam

    Interesting article. Very informative.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Time to slip on those sandles so the toes/toe nails need to be tip top! Awesome tips!

    5 years ago •

  1. Anita

    Great tips, i have been cutting mine wrong. Oops!

    5 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    Ooh, great tips for summer!

    5 years ago •

  1. Cat

    Great tips thanks, beautiful toe nails are a must, especially when we will be showing them off a lot this summer

    5 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    I just leave my nails for a professional to do them. I just cant get the right shape.

    5 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    Good tips to keep feet summer ready

    5 years ago •

  1. Charles

    Great tips to keep the nails all pretty for summer :)

    5 years ago •

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