Trimming thick toenails can be a challenging task, especially for elderly and senior citizens who may have reduced mobility, vision, or dexterity. It’s important to approach the task with care and to use the right tools and techniques to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.
Why do people get Thick Toenails?
There are several possible reasons why a person might have thick toenails:
One of the most common causes of thick toenails is nail fungus. Fungi can invade the nails and cause them to become thick, discolored, and brittle. Fungal infections of the nails are often treated with antifungal treatments like Swissklip Medi-Care Anti-Fungal Stick .
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection that affects the toenails. Fungal toenails are caused by fungi that grow in warm, moist environments, such as the inside of shoes or public showers.
Fungal nails are more common in people who have diabetes, a weakened immune system, poor circulation, or who have damaged nails. It is also more common in people who have sweaty feet or who wear tight, closed-toe shoes for long periods of time.
Other risk factors for toenail fungus include having a family history of the condition, being older, and living in a humid climate.
Toenail fungus can be difficult to treat, so it is important to take preventive measures to keep healthy nails, such as wearing shoes in public areas and keeping the feet dry and clean.
Also, if you suffer from fungal toenails, it is important to use a personal toenail clipper and to avoid sharing it. If someone else needs to use it, rubbing alcohol on to the clipper is recommended.
If a person experiences trauma to their toenail, such as from dropping a heavy object on their foot or stubbing their toe, it can cause the nail to become thickened.
As a person ages, their toenails may naturally become thicker due to changes in the body’s production of keratin, the protein that makes up the nails.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can also affect the nails. It can cause the nails to become thickened and discolored.
Other medical conditions
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders, can also cause thickened toenails. It is important to see a healthcare provider if you are experiencing thickened toenails and are unsure of the cause.
Tips for Trimming Thick Toenails for Elderly and Senior Citizens
Choose the right toenail clipper for thick toenails
Toenails can become thicker and more brittle with age, so it’s important to choose a toenail clipper that is specifically designed for thick nails like Swissklip Heavy Duty Toenail Clipper, and avoid using regular fingernail clippers.
Look for clippers with wide jaws or a curved cutting edge, which can help to reduce the risk of splitting or cracking the nail.
When trimming thick toenails, it is important to use a toenail clipper like Swissklip Heavy Duty that has the following features and characteristics:
- Sharp blades: Toenails can be tough and thick, so it is important to use a toenail clipper with sharp blades to make clean, precise cuts. Dull blades can cause the nail to split or tear, which can be painful and may lead to further problems.
- Long handles: Toenails can be difficult to reach, especially if they are thick or have grown too long. Toenail clippers with long handles can provide better leverage and make it easier to reach and trim thickened toenails.
- Wide opening: A toenail clipper with a wide opening can accommodate thicker nails and help prevent the nail from getting stuck or pinched in the blades.
- Sturdy construction: Toenail clippers with sturdy construction can provide better grip and control when trimming the nails, which is especially important when dealing with thick or difficult-to-cut nails.
- Non-slip handles: Nail clippers with non-slip handles can help prevent slipping and accidental cuts, which can be especially important when working with wet or sweaty hands.
It is also a good idea to use a toenail clipper specifically designed for thick nails, as these are often built with features that make them more effective at cutting through tough nails.
Soak your toes
To soak your toes in warm water to soften your toenails for an easier cut of thick nails, follow these steps:
- Fill a basin or tub with warm water: Fill a basin or tub with warm water, making sure that it is deep enough to fully submerge your toes. The water should be comfortable to the touch, but not hot enough to burn or scald your skin.
- Add Epsom salt or vinegar: To help soften the nails, you can add Epsom salt or vinegar to the water. Epsom salt can help to soften the nails and reduce swelling, while vinegar can help to kill any fungi or bacteria that may be present.
- Soak your toes for 10-15 minutes: Once the water is ready, soak your toes in the basin or tub for 10-15 minutes. You can use a towel to gently scrub the nails and surrounding skin to help loosen any debris or dirt.
- Pat your toes dry: When you are finished soaking your toes, gently pat them dry with a clean towel. Be sure to dry between your toes to help prevent fungal infections.
- Trim your nails: Once your nails are soft and pliable, you can use a toenail clipper to carefully trim them. Be sure to use nail clippers specifically designed for thick nails, and make sure the blades are sharp to ensure a clean cut.
It is important to be gentle and patient when trimming thick toenails, as cutting too quickly or aggressively can cause the nails to split or tear, which can be painful and may lead to further problems.
File and Buff the toenails before cutting
To file and buff the toenails to soften and thin out the toenails before cutting, follow these steps:
- Choose the right file or buffer: To soften and thin out the toenails, it is best to use a nail buffer with a medium to fine grit, Swissklip Nail Buffer comes with different buffing levels to use according to your situation. Coarser grit files can be too rough and may damage the nails, while finer grit files may not be effective at shaping the nails.
- File or Buff in one direction: When filing the toenails, it is important to file in one direction only, rather than sawing back and forth. This will help to prevent the nails from becoming jagged or split.
- Be gentle: It is important to be gentle when filing the toenails, as applying too much pressure can cause the nails to become thin and brittle.
- Start at the edges: To thin out the toenails, start by filing the edges of the nails. Work your way from one side of the nail to the other, using long, smooth strokes.
- Round the corners: To give the toenails a softer, more natural shape, round the corners of the nails by filing the edges in a gentle curve.
- Finish with a buffing file: Once you have filed the toenails to the desired shape and thickness, you can use a buffing file to smooth out any rough edges or imperfections.
It is important to be patient and take your time when filing the toenails, as rushing or applying too much pressure can cause the nails to become thin or damaged. Using a nail file or emery board can help to soften and thin out the toenails before cutting. This can make it easier to trim the nails and reduce the risk of injury.
Cut the nails straight across
To avoid painful ingrown toenails such as , it’s important to cut straight across rather than rounding the corners. This will help to prevent the nail from growing into the skin and causing discomfort or infection and to recur to non-surgical ingrown toenail treatments.
Smooth any rough edges: If the nails are particularly thick or jagged, you may need to use a nail file to smooth the edges before trimming. Be sure to file in one direction only, rather than sawing back and forth, to prevent the nails from becoming jagged or split.
It is important to be gentle and patient when trimming the toenails, as cutting too quickly or aggressively can cause the nails to split or tear, which can be painful and may lead to further problems.
Don’t cut the nails too short
It’s important to leave enough nail on the toes to provide protection for the skin and to avoid ingrown toenails. It’s generally recommended to leave about a quarter inch of nail above the skin. Leave a small amount of white visible at the tip of the nail to help prevent the nail from digging into the skin.
Use caution when trimming
Toenails can be difficult to see, especially if you have poor vision or reduced mobility. It’s important to use a good quality toenail clipper and to take your time to ensure a clean, toenails straight cut. If you have difficulty reaching your toes or if you have any concerns about your toenails, consider asking a family member or healthcare professional for assistance.
Keep the nails clean and moisturized
Toenails can become dry and brittle with age, so it’s important to keep them moisturized to prevent cracking and splitting.
Using a nourishing nail cream or oil can help to keep the nails healthy and flexible.
Watch for signs of infection
If you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge around the toenails, it could be a sign of an infection. It’s important to seek medical attention if you have any concerns about the health of your toenails or if you start suffering from ingrown nails.
Trimming thick toenails can be a delicate task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done safely and comfortably. By following these tips and seeking the guidance of a healthcare professional if necessary, you can help to maintain healthy, well-groomed toenails and prevent discomfort or infection.
Additional Tools and Techniques for Managing Thick Nails
Aside from using specialized toenail clippers for thick nails, there are other tools and techniques you can incorporate into your nail care routine to effectively manage thick nails. Some of these options include:
Nail files and buffers
Using a nail file or buffer can help shape and smooth thick nails after trimming. Files with different grits are available, with coarser grits being more suitable for shaping thick nails and finer grits for smoothing the edges.
Cuticle pushers and nippers
Maintaining healthy cuticles is essential for overall nail health. Gently push back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick, and remove any excess skin or hangnails with a cuticle nipper.
A nail brush can help clean the surface of your nails and the areas underneath them. Regularly brushing your nails can help remove dirt and debris, promoting a cleaner and healthier nail environment.
Foot files and pumice stones
Thick nails can sometimes be accompanied by thick or callused skin on the feet. Using a foot file or pumice stone during your foot care routine can help remove dead skin and improve the overall health and appearance of your feet.
Topical treatments for fungal infections
If your thick nails are caused by a fungal infection, over-the-counter or prescription topical treatments can help address the issue. Antifungal creams, ointments, or lacquers can be applied directly to the affected nails as per the recommended treatment plan. Always consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Nail strengthening and growth treatments
Some products are specifically formulated to strengthen nails and promote healthy growth. These treatments may include nail strengthening creams, oils, or polishes that contain nourishing ingredients, such as vitamins and proteins, to improve nail health.
Professional nail care services
In some cases, it may be beneficial to seek professional nail care services, such as from a podiatrist or a certified medical nail technician. These professionals can provide specialized care and treatments for thick nails, as well as address any underlying health concerns.
By incorporating these additional tools and techniques into your nail care routine, you can better manage thick nails and maintain their overall health and appearance. When used in conjunction with specialized toenail clippers, these methods can help ensure that your nails remain in optimal condition, promoting better foot health and preventing complications.
Precautions and Safety Tips When Trimming Thick Nails
Proper care and attention are crucial when trimming thick nails to prevent potential injuries, complications, or discomfort. Here are some precautions and safety tips to consider when trimming thick nails:
Trimming in a well-lit area
Ensure that the area where you trim your nails is well-lit so that you can see clearly and avoid accidental cuts or injuries. This is particularly important when dealing with thick nails, as precision and visibility are crucial for a safe and effective trimming experience.
Sanitizing tools and hands
Before and after trimming your nails, sanitize your tools and wash your hands thoroughly. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria and reduce the risk of infection.
Trimming carefully around sensitive areas
When trimming thick nails, be cautious not to cut too close to the skin or cuticle, as this can cause pain, discomfort, or even infection. Use the appropriate toenail clipper for thick nails and take your time to ensure precise and careful trimming.
Seeking professional help when necessary
If you are unsure about trimming your thick nails or have concerns about their condition, it may be best to consult a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or a certified medical nail technician. These professionals can provide guidance and assistance in managing your thick nails safely and effectively.
Monitoring for signs of infection
After trimming your thick nails, keep an eye out for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, pain, or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical advice promptly to address the issue and prevent complications.
Avoiding forceful trimming or cutting
When dealing with thick nails, avoid using excessive force or cutting at awkward angles, as this can lead to injuries, ingrown nails, or damage to the nail bed. Instead, use specialized toenail clippers designed for thick nails and employ a gentle, controlled approach.
Soaking feet before trimming
Soaking your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes before trimming your thick nails can help soften them, making it easier to cut through the nail without causing damage or discomfort. Adding Epsom salt or essential oils to the water can provide additional therapeutic benefits.
Addressing underlying health issues
Thick nails can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health issue, such as fungal infections, psoriasis, or diabetes. If you suspect that your thick nails may be related to a medical condition, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment.
Why is it important to keep your Thick Toenails Trimmed?
In conclusion, trimming thick toenails is an important part of foot care for elderly people. As we age, our nails can become thicker and more prone to fungal infections, ingrown toenails, and other issues.
Trimming thick toenails with a straight edge can help prevent these problems and keep the feet healthy. It is especially important for elderly people with mobility issues, as thick toenails can make it difficult to walk or wear shoes comfortably.
By regularly trimming their toenails, you can end up cutting your nails like a pro. Also, elderly people can maintain their independence and improve their overall quality of life. It is also important for elderly people to seek assistance from a podiatrist or a family member if they are unable to trim their toenails themselves, as improper nail care can lead to serious foot problems.