foot, toes, sky image by Katrina Miller from

Cutting your toenails in the proper manner can be the difference between healthy feet and toes and feet that hurt and are prone to infections. According to the Everyday Health website, foot pain is often associated with ingrown toenails, which occur when the skin grows over the toenail. Ingrown toenails are most often caused by using an improper toenail-cutting technique at the sides of the toenail.

Use large clippers to cut your toenails. Smaller clippers are better used on fingernails. Avoid using nail scissors; these twist easily and can rip the nail.

Clean and disinfect your clippers with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab before using them.

Cut the toenail straight across to form 90-degree angles with the sides of the nail. Avoid cutting the toenail in an angle or cutting down the sides of the toenail. Avoid creating a round-shaped toenail, which can easily become an ingrown nail. Use several clips straight across the nail instead of trying to cut the nail all at once.

File away any sharp edges at the corners of the nail, but maintain a square nail shape. File in one direction only.