There are some medical issues you come to expect after 40: knee pain, high cholesterol, trouble sleeping — you get the picture. Then, there are others that come as a surprise, like how difficult it gets to bend down and stand back up. Who’d ever expect that clipping toenails would become a challenge? While there’s no shame in this problem, it’s a serious one that needs attention, no matter how squeamish you may feel.
Long or improperly cut nails can lead to ingrown toenails; if left untreated, these can get infected. In severe cases, those infections can even lead to gangrene — a condition in which tissue dies from a lack of blood supply. While gangrene is uncommon, infections are not, and they are difficult to treat if you can’t bend to clean your toes.
So, what’s the solution? Toenails are a sensitive topic for many women, who fear that they’ll disgust a podiatrist or pedicurist and get a pricey bill when all is said and done. However, seeing a professional is overall the safest solution — so try to remember that people who deal with feet for a living have seen it all! In between pedicures or medical pedicures, a hack also exists to “trim” toenails without bending. (It’s hilarious, but it works.) Here’s how to do it.
How To ‘Cut’ Your Toenails If You Can’t Bend
A few years ago, a YouTuber by the name of Mark Elliot Barrett shared a simple method for filing toenails without having to bend. Here’s how he did it: He grabbed a wooden stake he had lying around the house — it was between a foot and 16 inches long. Then, he used a staple gun to staple three emery boards to the bottom of the stake. (Emery boards are reusable nail files. You can buy them cheaply on Amazon or in any pharmacy.) From there, Barrett held the stake at the top, and rubbed the emery boards at the bottom against his toenails, up and down. Call it genius or call it ridiculous, but it worked. Check out the video below.
Note: A user commented that gluing the emery boards to the stake with permanent glue may be better — hitting your nail against one of the staples could be painful.
Results of the Toenail Clipping Hack
Though Barrett’s solution might not be right for everyone (if you use it all the time instead of clipping, it could lead to ingrown toenails), he’s helped a lot of people. “Thank you so much,” one of the top comments reads. “I’ve got a few discs in my lower spine that are injured and I can’t bend far! This will definitely help me! Thank you.” Another user added: “I have knee and hip arthritis [sic] and cannot cut my toe nails or put on my socks; it is soo frustrating, which is why I searched the web for tips. Thank U for this tip!”
Ways To Make Pedicures and Podiatrist Visits Less Expensive
Pedicures and podiatrist visits are the safest way to cut your toenails, but the price is a barrier for some. Fortunately, there are also ways to reduce the cost. Here are a few tricks to try before your next appointment:
- Call your health insurance provider before you visit the podiatrist to ask for a cost estimate. Find out which services, if any, are covered.
- Visit Groupon to find deals on pedicures near you.
- On Google, search “senior discounts pedicures” if you are over 65. Or, search “cheap pedicure near me.” Call nail salons near you to ask how much they charge; many charge far less than a podiatrist and do an excellent job of preventing ingrown toenails.
Bottom line? Trimming your toenails at home may not always be an option, but Barrett’s toenail clipping hack can help you space out trips to the nail salon or podiatrist so you can save money. Just remember that having someone else cut your toenails is ultimately the best solution.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.