Q:

Why can't you clip a diabetic's toenails or fingernails?

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Quick Answer

The idea a person cannot clip a diabetic's toenails or fingernails is not always true. However, in many cases, diabetics with onychomycosis develop brittle, thick and hard-to-cut nails, according to Gerrie Summers for About.com. Additionally, diabetics with neuropathy should avoid cutting their own nails to prevent accidentally cutting and hurting themselves.

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Full Answer

Diabetics with neuropathy, onychomycosis or any other conditions that make their nails hard to cut should have their caretakers or professional podiatrists cut their nails. Diabetics who want to cut their own nails should do so after bathing when their nails are soft. Avoid cutting into the corners between the nails and skin, and do not cut cuticles, recommends WebMD. Instead, gently and carefully cut the nails in straight lines across the top.

Diabetics are more prone to foot problems and nail issues than people without diabetes, as their condition can damage their nerves and reduce blood flow to outer extremities, reports WebMD. For these reasons, diabetics should prioritize their foot care. Nearly one in five diabetics who goes to the hospital does so to receive treatment for foot issues, notes the American Association of Kidney Patients. By taking care of their feet, diabetics can notice when a problem is afoot.

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