Toenail care

Overgrown, sweaty and neglected? Here's our five-step Buffers Guide.

Nicely manicured toes

Feet can be pretty ugly, here's how to make yours less hideous.

Step one

Wash feet with mild soap and warm water, then dry with a clean towel. Using a cotton ball dipped in tea tree oil (or a mild antiseptic) gently swap around your manky toenails to annihilate bacteria responsible for nasty niffs.

Step two

Deal with dodgy cuticles by dipping a cotton bud in olive oil and gently massaging until they’re soft enough for you to push back into place.

Step three

Only use toenail clippers or nail scissors for cutting. Fingernail clippers are designed for smaller nails, and you risk taking ‘bites’ out of each nail, rather than trimming each one squarely. A square cut is recommended as it reduces the risk of ingrown nails, and don’t cut the nail so far back that it exposes the skin underneath (or you’ll be hobbling for days).

Step four

Don’t ignore toenails that are green/black/discoloured or crumbly/thickened and warped beyond recognition – because it’s usually a sign of a fungal infection. If left to fester, some infections can spread to other nails and even cause damage to the toe bones. See your GP for treatment, and help yourself while you wait for the appointment by soaking feet in warm salty water.

Step five

Wear fresh, cotton socks and be sure your footwear is fitted properly. That way you can kick it all off without fear of causing offence or distress.

Photo of toes by Shutterstock.

Next Steps

  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.




Updated on 29-Sep-2015