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Tips for toenail care

Cutting your toenails is something that lots of people with diabetes worry about. It can be difficult to do if you can’t bend or reach easily or you might be worried about cutting yourself.

If you can reach them and see well enough to be able to cut them then there is no reason why you can’t cut your own toenails. However, if you have damage to the nerves or blood supply to your feet don’t attempt to cut them yourself unless you have been shown how to, for example by a podiatrist or nurse.

If you are taking care of your own nails then cut them when they have grown to just beyond the end of your toes. This is usually about every six to eight weeks. Use a good pair of nail clippers and an emery board. You can get these from your pharmacy.

Trim your nails following the shape of your toe and use the emery board to take off rough edges. Don’t cut down the sides of nails or cut them very short as you will risk cutting yourself and damaging the nail.

Do not use anything sharp (including nail scissors) to clean down the side and edges of nails because they can cause damage or an ingrown toenail.

You might have heard people suggest that cutting a v shape in the middle of your nail can help to prevent an ingrown toenail. This is untrue and by doing this you do risk damaging your toe and your nail.

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