Top tips for trimming your nails

It may seem like the simplest of tasks, but cutting your toenails is a job that needs to be undertaken carefully.

“The most basic mistakes can lead to painful and often serious problems such as ingrown toenails and infections’ warns the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.

Never use scissors on toenails, as they are much thicker than fingernails and scissors may twist, tear or rip them.

Always cut them straight across so that they are level with the ends of your toes and not too short. Don't try to cut around the corners of the nails as this can encourage ingrowing toenails. You can buy professional nail clippers to help you cut your toe nails correctly.

If you can't bend down to cut your nails, ask a friend or relative to help you. Failing this, contact a podiatrist; your doctor’s surgery may also offer this service.

If your nails are especially thick or you experience pain when you cut them, consult a professional. Diabetics have to be extra careful because the circulation and nerve supply to the feet can become impaired by an ingrown toenail. Nicks in the skin around the nail may get infected and, in rare cases, form an ulcer and become gangrenous.

Toenails often serve as barometers of our health. Pitted nails, ingrown nails, discoloured or infected nails should be evaluated and treated by a podiatrist who can diagnose the ailment, and then provide appropriate treatment or prescribe medication.

Top tips for trimming your nails