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Nail Care

Set of activities performed by the nursing staff for nail care.


– Maintain hygiene and good appearance of the nails. – Avoid infections, ulcerations and deformities.


– Basin – Towels. – Nail brush, pliers or scissors, nail file.

– Material: – Neutral soap, antiseptic if necessary. – Disposable gloves. – Acetone if needed.

– Moisturizing cream. – Absorbent cotton. – Soaker. – Nursing records.


– Perform hygienic hand washing. – Prepare the material. – Preserve the patient’s privacy. – Inform the patient. – Request the collaboration of the patient and family. – Prepare water in a basin at 30-32º C. – Protect the bed with the soaker. – Put on non-sterile gloves. – FEET: 1. Wash feet with soap and water, soak them to soften hardness or if they have a lot of dirt. 2. Rinse with running water. 3. Dry well, especially the interdigital spaces with a towel. 4. Assess the condition of the feet: hardness, ulcers, deformities, temperature and color, edema and peripheral pulses. 5. Perform specific care if pressure ulcers are present. 6. File hardness gently. 7. Cut nails in a straight line. 8. Apply moisturizing cream with a gentle massage.


1. Soak hands in water for 2 minutes maximum to avoid maceration. 2. Cut nails in an oval shape, leaving at least 10-15 mm from the base of the nail. Assess the patient’s decision. 3. Remove any remaining dirt inside the nails. 4. Apply moisturizing cream. – Leave the patient in a suitable position. – Collect the material. – Remove gloves. – Wash hands. – Record in the nursing documentation: procedure, reason, date and time, incidences and patient’s response.

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