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View Full Version : Settle a disagreement. How do you cut your toenails?


Mahaloth
09-28-2008, 08:31 PM
My wife and I disagree about how to cut our toenails.

I cut my toe nails in a rounded fashion, in the same way I cut fingernails. They are rounded, short, and smooth.

My wife, however, says that you are supposed to cut them in a straight line(which she does using those large toenail clippers). Actually, she says that the real correct way is to cut a V shape on your toenails, so they grow towards the middle. A foot doctor told her this was the right way.

Is there a right way to cut your toenails, and if so, what is it?

How do you cut your toenails? Is one of us right and the other wrong?

:confused:

No, this isn't an argument; we're just curious.

Sleeps With Butterflies
09-28-2008, 08:33 PM
Straight across is how I do it. That's how they always do it when I get a pedicure and how I've always done it.

Rounding seems to cause more ingrown toenails from what I understand. Thankfully I've never had one, I've heard they are painful.

BellRungBookShut-CandleSnuffed
09-28-2008, 08:36 PM
I guess it makes more sense to cut them straight because it would probably cut down on ingrown toenails. That said, I cut them round and haven't had an ingrown toenail.

Cunctator
09-28-2008, 08:52 PM
Rounded, like fingernails.

Valgard
09-28-2008, 08:54 PM
I've been told by one GP and one podiatrist to cut them straight across. This matches "Fixing Your Feet" (foot care book for endurance athletes) - the author also recommends keep the edges nicely smooth with a nail file or emery board (all this is to help prevent toenail injuries and loss). Cutting them curved so that the sides are shorter leads to ingrown nails according to my doctors (I used to have that problem all the time).

Ann Onimous
09-28-2008, 09:10 PM
Straight across: recommended for diabetic foot care as well.

GingerOfTheNorth
09-28-2008, 09:15 PM
Straight across: recommended for diabetic foot care as well.

Ditto.

AHunter3
09-28-2008, 10:01 PM
Stick 'em in my mouth and bite them down, same as my fingernails. Why?

Pullet
09-28-2008, 10:41 PM
Stick 'em in my mouth and bite them down, same as my fingernails. Why?

Only if you also gnaw off and eat the excess callous on the edges.

Etiquette, people, please.

Queen Tonya
09-28-2008, 10:43 PM
I've always been told to cut in a straight line, but my partner was told to do the V in the middle cut to prevent ingrowns. So she's not the only one who's ever heard that advice, but it sure does look funny when they're cut that way.

j666
09-28-2008, 11:20 PM
As long as you do it in private, I don't care.

(Straight across, with the notch if you tend to ingrown.)

I've always been told to cut in a straight line, but my partner was told to do the V in the middle cut to prevent ingrowns. So she's not the only one who's ever heard that advice, but it sure does look funny when they're cut that way.
If you smooth the edges of the "V" and paint them bright red, it's kind of cute.

Vox Imperatoris
09-29-2008, 12:07 AM
*Takes off sock*

Rounded on the bigger toes and straight on the smaller ones that can be easily cut in one motion.

Valete,
Vox Imperatoris

Runs With Scissors
09-29-2008, 12:12 AM
I don't know who the PR firm was who instilled in me as a kid (1970s) to cut my toenails straight across or Adolf Hitler would be riding shotgun in my car! but it appears to have worked.

Or something like that.

jackdavinci
09-29-2008, 01:55 AM
Uh, I just cut off the white part, whatever shape it is.

SeaDragonTattoo
09-29-2008, 04:18 AM
I had to have ingrowns removed when I was a teenager. It's not pretty. My big toenails have strangely straight sides. My podiatrist said the ingrowns will happen again unless I cut straight across forever.

Cyberhwk
09-29-2008, 04:53 AM
I guess it makes more sense to cut them straight because it would probably cut down on ingrown toenails. That said, I cut them round and haven't had an ingrown toenail.I was told every time I cut my nails when I was a kid that I'd get ingrown toenails. 15 years later haven't had a one of them.

Kamino Neko
09-29-2008, 05:36 AM
My toenails are actually rather brittle, so I don't generally get a chance to cut them...as soon as enough to cut grows past the base, it snaps off. Except for my left big toenail, which I have to cut off, because it doesn't break off evenly, and tries to stay attached at the inside, so it ends up in kind of a 'check mark' shape.

corkboard
09-29-2008, 09:09 AM
(Straight across, with the notch if you tend to ingrown.)

This.

I've had a recurring ingrown nail on the big toe on my left foot for about 30 years. 'Recurring' only when I don't cut the 'V' notch in the middle of the nail, and holy crap, an ingrown nail is painful. Like, can't wear a sock, can't let the bedsheet rest on my foot, painful. I try to be vigilant, and as an adult I'm pretty good about it, but there have been a few times that I figured, nah, it won't happen this time. Then it does.

So straight across on all my toes, but a notch in the big toes.

Thudlow Boink
09-29-2008, 09:10 AM
Right now I have my fingernail clippers and my toenail clippers both in front of me.

The blades on the fingernail clippers are concave (curved inward) somewhat, which allows me to cut my fingernails roundedly.

The blades on my toenail clippers go straight across, or are very slightly convex, allowing me to cut my toenails straight across.

I think that settles the question.

Enright3
09-29-2008, 09:22 AM
I've had an ingrown toenail surgically removed. Not a pretty sight.
Straight across is the way to go.

silenus
09-29-2008, 10:01 AM
Rounded. Sorta. The nails on the big toes are so brittle that they tend to shatter a bit when clipped, so I just file off the edges and call it good.

I've never had an ingrown toenail because I wear shoes that fit!

Enright3
09-29-2008, 10:08 AM
I've never had an ingrown toenail because I wear shoes that fit!

Hmmm, that comment could sure leave someone to believe that ill-fitting shoes are the only cause of ingrown tonails. That's not true at all. Besides the aforementioned toenail cutting mistakes that can cause ingrown tonails, they can happen in otherways too.

As one example; officiating football. All the sudden stopping and starting even with well fitting shoes would jam my tonails into the front of my shoes if they weren't tied tight.

Lynn Bodoni
09-29-2008, 11:09 AM
Straight across: recommended for diabetic foot care as well. I'm a diabetic, and my podiatrist does indeed cut my big toenails straight across. Occasionally he'll make a notch in them. He rounds off the smaller toenails. Then he gets out his Dremel and smooths down the edges and tops of the nails (seriously). If I have calluses, he'll file those down as well. I am Strictly Forbidden to use anything rougher than a washcloth on my feet. After all this, he will give me a lecture on moisturizing my feet.

I used to get ingrown toenails all the time. I will still occasionally get them. They are quite painful. My podiatrist will sometimes trim out the side edges of my toenails when they start to get ingrown, but he knows what he's doing.

I am allowed to get a pedicure at a salon, so long as the pedicurist doesn't cut my toenails, or cut my skin. I am especially encouraged to get the delux pedicure, which includes extra moisturizing and massaging.

Santo Rugger
09-29-2008, 11:32 AM
Toenail clippers? I just pinch the end and tear them off. Works best when the white part is about 3/16" long. Never had any problems.

cuberdon
09-29-2008, 12:53 PM
Across with a slight curve on the toes, but never down into the edges. And that v thing? Never heard of it.

Fingernails curved.

Mostly motivated by what will snag least.

Ingrown toenail only once, due to (non trimming related) injury.

gigi
09-29-2008, 01:09 PM
For both sets of nails, I follow the curve of the white part of the nail to make sure all the white is removed. I understand the straight line technique is to prevent ingrown nails, but these are only a ever a rare minor issue for me so I continue with the curved method.

minor7flat5
09-29-2008, 01:14 PM
I cut off whatever the clippers can get at, usually curved.
Sometimes when running the big toenails fall off (though this hasn't happened in a year or so)
...holy crap, an ingrown nail is painful. Like, can't wear a sock, can't let the bedsheet rest on my foot, painful.The one time I had an ingrown toenail I suffered with it for some weeks. Then one morning I was having breakfast and felt the most excruciating searing pain in my toe. Our one-week-old kitten had gently stepped on it. That was when I gave in and went to the doctor.

Acsenray
09-29-2008, 03:08 PM
I stopped getting ingrown toenails when I stopped rounding.

5-HT
09-29-2008, 03:25 PM
Straight across. there's a reason toe nail clippers are shaped differently than finger nail clippers.

ZenBeam
09-29-2008, 10:22 PM
I cut mine rounded. Occasionally I'll get a sore spot where, I presume, my nail is starting to ingrow. I just get under the corner of my toenail with my fingernail, and pry it up a bit. The soreness goes away within a day. That might not work for everybody, but it works for me.

Kaio
09-29-2008, 11:21 PM
I can't even conceive how you could cut straight across. The pink of my nail bed is rounded... if I cut straight across I'd be cutting into the quick in the middle of the nail. :eek:

Never heard of the V / notch thing, either, which makes even less sense.

Broomstick
09-30-2008, 08:50 AM
Mostly straight across, but I have a couple toes where if I do just that, when the nail grows out the corner jabs into the toe next to it, so I knock the points off so that doesn't happen. Call it straight across with slight rounding to avoid sharp bits. Never had an ingrown toenail in my life (although one hiking trip I did get a bloody foot from overlong toenails jabbing into toes, but that was almost 30 years ago)

Acsenray
09-30-2008, 11:04 AM
I can't even conceive how you could cut straight across. The pink of my nail bed is rounded... if I cut straight across I'd be cutting into the quick in the middle of the nail. :eek:

Do you seriously think people here are recommending that you hack off the end of your toe?

"Cut straight across" essentially means that you don't cut off the corners. And, yes, such a method helps prevent ingrown toenails.

Tibby or Not Tibby
09-30-2008, 11:24 AM
Straight across is the safest. You can round them slightly if youíre careful not to cut past the distal aspect of the nail borders (where the skin folds adjacent to the nail plate). The main reason physicians donít want you to cut into the nail borders is that itís very easy to leave a nail spicule that can pierce the skin as the nail grows forward, causing an ingrown toenail (onychocryptosis). Being the farthest structures from the heart, toes donít enjoy great blood perfusion, even in the best of circumstances and they often host a variety of nasty microbes. Infected ingrown toenails can wreak havoc in people with compromised circulation, like diabetics. Chasing gangrene up the leg with a MicroAire bone saw is, unfortunately, not an uncommon sequelae in these types of cases. So, donít be a bathroom surgeon, donít cut into your nail borders and if you have poor circulation, put your feet in the hands of a professional.

rowrrbazzle
09-30-2008, 02:27 PM
The v-notch is not effective according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

http://footphysicians.com/news/myths-ingrowntoenail.htm

j666
09-30-2008, 09:51 PM
The v-notch is not effective according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

http://footphysicians.com/news/myths-ingrowntoenail.htmHmm. It works for me.
I wonder how they tested this ... did they talk a significant sample of people to notch only one toe-nail, and monitor the results long enough for the nails to grow a specified amount? Did they then switch toes, and determined if the 'ingrowned-ness' varied by the same amount for both feet?

How did they measure 'ingrowned-ness'? The only metric I know is an attribute, not a variable, and it is pain/no pain, but medical professionals are very leary of accepting patient reports of pain as data.

I really want to see the raw data on that study.

Kaio
09-30-2008, 10:02 PM
Do you seriously think people here are recommending that you hack off the end of your toe?

Thanks for putting words in my mouth. I meant exactly what I said. I can't conceive of it. I can't picture it in my head. If I'm not following the curve of the nail bed, then yeah, the cut would come awfully damn close to the quick in the middle. Unless I let my toenails grow to rather obscene lengths beyond the end of my toes.

"Cut straight across" essentially means that you don't cut off the corners. And, yes, such a method helps prevent ingrown toenails.

:confused: My toenails don't have corners, they are rounded, as is the nail bed. I've never had an ingrown toenail, however I have hurt myself by letting my toenails grow too long. I run a lot, and if I don't keep them trimmed, the hard toenails bang into the toes of my shoes, jamming them backward into the nail bed, which makes my toes hurt and typically causes those fun blood spots underneath the nail.

My toenails don't grow square. If I grew them long enough to cut them square, the "corners" on either side would be long enough to extend past the (also rounded) tip of my toe, causing the aforementioned toenail banging problem. Ow.

j666
09-30-2008, 10:15 PM
My toenails don't grow square. If I grew them long enough to cut them square, the "corners" on either side would be long enough to extend past the (also rounded) tip of my toe, causing the aforementioned toenail banging problem. Ow.The quick of my big toe nail is far enough back from the edge of my toe to allow a protected straight across cut.

When the nail is about 2 mm beyond the quick, I notch it to almost the quick; I re-notch every week or so, but only have to cut the nail about one a month. I really do smooth the points of the notch.

Aspidistra
10-01-2008, 12:42 AM
I have a similar problem to Kaio - if I don't cut the nail rounded, the corners jut out and dig holes in my second toe. Sometimes similar issues between second and third toes sometimes.

So I cut my big toes round, and yes I have had an ingrow once, and it was painful, but so is having big gashes in my other toes.

These days I try to get in there with a pointy file and lift up the edges of the nail out of the nail bed to prevent another ingrow - that seems to have worked ok so far, but it's not totally comfortable

GusNSpot
10-01-2008, 02:07 AM
Also toe nail problems come from bone damage.

I have had both great toe nails removed now.

I use a Dremel and a electric sander on my callouses.

My skin is so thick that it tends to crack a lot so moist and grind it down are the order of the day.

Nava
10-01-2008, 08:31 AM
After the bath, definitely. Easier then, specially Mom's, which are so thick that nailclippers can't manage the job...

Oh, the shape?

Nobody in my family has ever had nail health problems (other than Mom's being to thick). Those of us whose toenail habits I'm familiar wirh cut them shorter than the fingernails, therefore straighter, but clip off a big at each side. If we cut them completely straight they're either too short (and then that toe hurts in shoes) or too long (bye-bye knee-high hose; shoes get deformed faster).

Mom's a diabetic, so she was sent to the podologist to talk about toenail-clipping. She asked me to do her toenails right beforehand, so the doc would see how we do it and be able to decide if this is adequate, it had to be done a different way or she needed to come to the office for clipping. Doc said it was fine so long as we didn't clip any shorter. We've been doing her toenails for years, since she can't reach (arthrosis is fun - not).

Zeriel
10-01-2008, 04:40 PM
Rounded, after a bath or at least a foot soak because they're thick bastards, lifting the corners out of the nail bed with a file so that I don't get ingrowing (never had that happen). If I cut straight across the corners get caught on too much crap, even if I round 'em off a little.

Lynn Bodoni
10-02-2008, 03:53 AM
People's nailbeds, like other portions of their anatomies, are shaped differently. I have short, wide nails (which go with my short, wide hands and feet). No matter HOW much I spend on beauty products and services, I will never have long, slender nails. Or fingers or toes, either. So we each have to figure out how to best cut our nails. I go to a podiatrist because I'm diabetic, and I want to have a professional remove my calluses. Ever notice that all those foot files and callus removers have a warning not to use if you're diabetic? There's a reason for that. Diabetics heal slowly, and we generally have circulation problems, especially in our feet. I, for one, do not wish to have anything amputated.

KarmaComa
10-02-2008, 01:02 PM
Cut your toenails in a straight line. If you cut them in a curve, the subway train might lurch and you could hurt yourself.

control-z
10-03-2008, 11:12 AM
So you're supposed to cut straight across, but my toenail clippers have a rounded cutting surface. Ok, I can get new clippers.

But doesn't cutting them straight leave sharp corners that would get caught on socks and cut nearby children and animals if you stumble into them?

Uzi
10-04-2008, 08:46 AM
But doesn't cutting them straight leave sharp corners that would get caught on socks and cut nearby children and animals if you stumble into them?

I've never understood this either. When I get square toes I'll cut the nails on them square, otherwise they follow the rounded shape. If I let them grow long enough to cut them square, I'd end up ripping a nail off if it caught on a carpet or something.

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