It would have never occurred to your mind that there could be a right or a wrong way in which the nails should be cut.
Most of you cut your nails while a few might go to salons to get them trimmed styled or cut. In a salon, it is seen, many professional nail groomers push back the cuticles. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is the biggest no in nail care.(1)
Trimming cuticles can make the bad bacteria to work its way into the nail roots, which could lead to infection.
Well-groomed nails not only look good but also decrease the chances of bacterial infection in them. Short nails are less likely to harbor dirt and bacteria that cause infection.
Knowing the right clipping technique can prevent hangnails and ingrown toenails too.
How Cutting Nails In The Wrong Way Can Lead To Infection?
Just like long nails increase the chances of infection, if the nails are cut in the wrong way, bacteria can gain access into the skin and cause infection.
If the nails are cut deep enough, it affects the nails’ bed. There are chances of a cut in the nail bed that can lead to infection.
If the nail is not cut in proper shape, the chances of nail growing into the skin increase. This can cause the skin in which the nail bores, to get infected.
Pushing back the cuticles or trimming them can cause infection. Cuticles protect the nails. Cutting them or pushing them back can harm the skin around as well as the nail.
The infection of the fingernail or toenail is characterized by swelling and pain in the surrounding skin. In some, the infection can get serious and has to be treated by a physician.
Appropriate nail hygiene is a must and it includes cleaning and trimming fingernails that could harbor dirt and germs and could lead to the spread of infection too.
The longer the fingernail, the greater are the chances of spread of infection. Nails should be kept short and their undersides should be cleaned with soap and water.(2)
The Correct Method Of Trimming Nails
There is a method in which the nails should be cut so that it gets easier to trim them(1)
Soak the Nails: Before cutting the nails, if you soak them in warm water, they get flexible and easier to deal with.
Before cutting the nails, knowing how to start and end the process plays a big role.
Proper Tools: What tools you use also matters. For fingernails use a nail clipper or nail scissors. A toenail clipper should be used for toenails. Also, remember to disinfect the tools monthly. You can soak them in 70-90 percent isopropyl alcohol and use a brush to scrub the nail clipper or nail scissor.
Rinse the tools and dry them completely before putting them away.
Trimming the Fingernails: While trimming the fingernails, cut them across the nail. You can use a nail file or an emery board to slightly round the nails at the corner. This helps in keeping them strong and prevents them from getting stuck on clothing or furniture.
Trimming Toenails: While trimming the toenails, cut them across. This reduces the chances of getting an ingrown toenail.
Toenails grow slower than the fingernails. Therefore, you need not trim them often.
Nail filing: Always file the nails with a nail filer or emery board. Make sure you file the nails in the same direction, as back and forth filing could weaken the nails.
Leave The Cuticles As It Is: Cuticles protect the nails, therefore should not be cut or pushed back. Trimming and cutting the cuticle can make it easier for the bacteria and other germs to enter the body and cause infection.
If you get a nail infection, it can take a long time to clear up.
Moisturize the Nails: After trimming the nails make sure you moisturize them. It keeps them flexible.
Moisturizing becomes important when the weather is dry, as dry nails tend to split more easily.
If any change in color, texture, or shape of the nails is noticed, consult a board-certified dermatologist. Sometimes the changes are harmless while at times it can be a sign of a disease such as melanoma or nail fungal infection.
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