If you don't pay a lot of attention to your feet, it is easy to let your toenails grow long, but this can lead to painful ingrown toenails. Cut your nails whenever you notice them getting long, at least every few weeks. However, do not cut them too short because this can also lead to ingrown nails. You should aim to keep the edge of your nails reaching the tips of the toes, but you do not want the nail to hang over the toe. Trim your toenails straight across without rounding off the edges, as this will help to prevent the nails from growing into the skin. Try to make small cuts across the nail rather than trying to clip it one try. If your nails have sharp corners after trimming them, use a nail file or emery board to smooth them off. Move the nail file gently in one direction, rather than in back and forth motions.
For best trimming results, it is wise to invest in a pair of nail clippers or manicure scissors. Using any household item like knives or scissors could be dangerous. Also, make sure that your nails are dry before cutting them because wet nails are soft and at risk of tearing, bending, or not cutting smoothly.
If you develop an ingrown toenail, you might be able to treat it at home. Cut the toenail as advised above, then lift the part of the nail that has become ingrown and place a small ball of cotton wool underneath it to prevent further growth into the skin. Change the cotton wool daily until the growth of the nail is corrected.