happytoesKeeping ten happy little toes is connected to the care of your ten little toenails. How you trim them can make or break your foot comfort. And we all know how it goes with comfortable feet. If the feet are happy, the whole body is happy.

If they ‘ain’t’ happy — everything above them ‘ain’t’ happy. That unhappiness can spread to the folks around the unhappy feet.

Do trim your toenails and avoid leaving them uncared for. If you need help due to vision issues and potential risks due to diabetes or other conditions, you can seek assistance from a family member, a pedicurist or health organizations or businesses which frequently offer toenail clinics. Health organizations or businesses that would offer assistance include local health departments, hospice services or home health care services. They will be glad to tell you where they are holding toenail clinics.

Untrimmed toenails in winter when we wear closed shoes can press against the end and other surface areas in the shoe’s toe box, causing quiet misery. People who are on their feet a lot, such as wait staff know about the foot comfort secret of keeping toenails trimmed. Untrimmed toenails on smaller toes can grow in a curve that follows the toe shape enough to eventually touch and become embedded in the skin at the tip of the toe. Long toenails are a spot for moisture to accumulate along with bacteria leading to another set of misery.

Over trimming can get a foot into trouble as well. The toenails should never be over trimmed as the tissue and skin around the toe is tender and easy to cut when the clippers or scissors get to close to the ‘quick’ of the toenail. Some toenail growth does protect the tips of toes from rubbing or pressure due to shoe fit or a wrinkle in one’s sock.

I recommend trimming toenails to follow the shape of the of the toe, with some extension away from the quick — that is the white part that isn’t connected to your toe. “Toesie” has red ‘paint’ on the area of the toenails that is usually white.

Some recommend trimming straight, but that isn’t clear. We can easily see that creating a pointed toenail isn’t going to work. But following the shape of the toe in a straight manner makes much more sense than a ruler-straight-whack across the top. Too often this can lead to outside toenail tips growing sharp corners to snag socks and sheets. Those dry corners are vulnerable to breakage when we go barefoot or wear sandals. That break can be a big chip or a big rip that gets too close to the quick or the side cuticle, leaving a small, painful wound inviting bacteria and infection.

These toenail trimming suggestions may not fit everyone. Consult your podiatrist or health professional before making drastic changes in the trimming methods that have been working for you.

If you have questions about foot care, you can contact us at 317-660-2115 for a consultation appointment. Or you may use the online appointment request option available on the Hoosier Foot and Ankle website 24/7 for your convenience. We have five clinics available for your foot care needs in the Indianapolis area.