Proper toenail trimming prevents ingrown toenailsWe know it can be hard to cut your toenails sometimes. It’s a little job that nobody wants to do! If your nails are thick, brittle, or infected with fungus, it can make trimming even more difficult. As you navigate through the obstacles of cutting your toenails, we’ll guide you with some tips on how to prevent ingrown toenails from occurring.

Stage 1: Where are my Clippers?

Make sure you use a large, stainless steel toenail clipper for better control. Don’t just grab your fingernail clippers because you lost your other pair. The larger clippers are designed to cut into thicker and larger nails. Make sure the pair is disinfected with rubbing alcohol. You don’t want any extra bacteria getting on your nails and introducing an infection.

Stage 2: I Can’t Believe my Toenails Have Gotten this Long!

Actually, it’s OK to leave your toenails a little bit longer to prevent ingrown toenails, a very painful condition where the side of the nail pierces and grows into the skin. If you cut your nails too short, the nail bed could start poking into the side of the toe when it tries to grow back. Try to trim straight across and don’t round the edges off into the skin of the toe.

Stage 3: I Really Should get my Nails Wet to Cut them Easier.

Not! Cutting into the nail when it’s wet makes it more likely to tear and not be cut correctly. We’ve all experienced the discomfort that comes with a nail tearing off too short.

Stage 4: I’m in a Hurry! Just a Few Cuts and I’m Outta Here!

Take your time and make small cuts on each nail. Start on the side and move across in a straight line. If you try to make one big cut, your toenail could snap and break in unwanted places.

At McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group, we offer medical nail care and can help you out when your problem is too tough to trim. Call our office in Carmichael, CA, at (916) 961-3434 to schedule an appointment. We’ll help you prevent ingrown toenails! 

Photo Credit: Ponsulak via

I never took into account that it's ok to leave your toenails a bit longer, and that it can prevent ingrown toenails. From my point of view, I think there's a fine balance. It's good to trim your nails, but it's also ok to have them a little bit long, so long as they aren't getting in the way.
by Taylor Bishop July 3, 2017 at 12:57 PM
Post a Comment

Are You in Pain?

Living with pain is not normal...and there’s always something that can be done about it. Contact us today.


Office at St. George Medical Center
  • 6620 Coyle Avenue, Suite 202
    Carmichael, CA 95608
  • Phone: 916-961-3434
  • Fax: 916-961-0540
  • Toll Free: 888-447-0733
  • Location Details
  • Directions
Roseville Office