• eggiteggit September 2016
    I was just clipping my toenails and had a random thought, why not just remove them so I never have to clip them again? As far as I can tell, they serve no purpose and are completely vestigial. They are often removed in cases of extreme fungal infection or ingrown nails, so why not for convenience? I guess you have to weigh whether the one time pain and recovery of removal is worth a lifetime of never trimming them again. Man, I feel so lazy now that I type this out, but I really hate trimming my toe nails.
  • ZerbulaZerbula September 2016

    Toenails are evolved to shield the nerve sensitive ends of the toes from damage. It's a form of armor to protect some of the most sensitive areas of our bodies from damage. If you were to drop say, a soup can on your big toe, that nail could be the difference between a nasty bruise and a lot of pain, or a trip to the emergency room with half of the tip of your toe cut off and absolutely excruciating pain from so many nerves being damaged at once... D:>

    Shoes definitely reduce their necessity and utility in modern society, but there's been times they have saved me. :o

    Mileage may vary, but the best way to look at toenails is to look at fingernails, and translate everything a fingernail does to your toe.  ^^

    My two cents on the issue.as far as removal... This could be messy... :s
  • JohnDoeJohnDoe September 2016
    Yeah I don't gross out easy, but this one got the better of me....
  • eggiteggit September 2016
    The nerves would desensitize over time, similar to the way the glans does after circumcision. I don't think toenails really evolved for that purpose either, granted this is something thats hard to know for sure, but it seems more likely to me that they are just vestigial claws. I've had toe/finger nails ripped out a few times, and its definitely a very sensitive and incredibly painful experience, but after a few weeks the skin hardens and the sensitivity goes away while the nail regrows.
  • CassoxCassox September 2016
    If you plan to play around with this.. you can apply "Nair" to the nail and leave it on for a while. It will remove structural strength in the nail and make it all floppy and fucked up. See how this is for a while first. Maybe you'll like it.. or maybe you'll find nails are a good thing.

    I'd personally rather go the other direction. Velociraptor fucking claw toes.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul September 2016
  • eggiteggit September 2016
    Interesting, didn't think about nair.
    I probably will not go through with this, it seems like a pretty big procedure just to save yourself an hour of time over the course of your life time. It could possibly have applications in long term space travel though.
  • ZerbulaZerbula September 2016
    @cassox Sign me up for Velociraptorification! >3<
  • DirectorXDirectorX September 2016
    dude, this is slightly related to another idea I was running by Cassox a while back wherein I was considering transplanting a toenail and nail bed onto my shoulder to see if it would work. I think the consensus was no. But you should consider it if you decide to remove toenails. I mean, it's kind of a waste of good toenails if you don't, right?

    But lidocaine is a must. I passed out one time removing an ingrown toenail. It was so swollen and painful.
  • DirectorXDirectorX September 2016
    on the topic of Raptor talons, Snicks the manwhore (maybe not on the forums?) lost the tip of his finger as a kid and part of the nail bed remained. So now he literally grows a conical talon from his pinky. I think that might work for toes too, but there might be better ways.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul September 2016
    Ok I should add this just because directorx mention the talon toenail.

    My little toenail grows up and out like one also. I keep it cut/ground down so it doesn't catch on anything as it gets very annoying very fast.
  • DmLawrenceDmLawrence September 2016
    Personally I use a dremel to do my big toe nail. Grind it down in seconds.
  • eggiteggit September 2016
    Meanderpaul, rip that thing out! I'll do it, if you do it.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul September 2016
    ahh hells no.
  • Wolfcat_XWolfcat_X September 2016
    hi eggit. This post caught my eye because I in fact did remove my toenails. I always thought they were gross and felt weird and I got so tired of having them that I took a pair of pliers to them and pulled them out.

    Yes it's true that stubbing them hurts more without toenails (and of course the removal process is painful in and of itself). Also they bleed a LOT, like a crazy lot, when you take them out so if you do decide to remove them, be prepared for the mess.

    They stay gone for awhile but now that it's been a few years, all but the nails on my big toes have grown back.

    The easiest way I found to remove them was to soak my feet in warm water first, and then use the pliers (I used needle-nose jewelry pliers) to pull them out, pulling from the cuticle parallel to the nail bed. Yank hard and fast and they should come out pretty easily. Be prepared to wash them clean and bandage them because like I said they'll bleed a lot and you don't want them to get infected. After they heal up though they're nice and smooth and soft for months.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul September 2016
    I really hoped this thread would stay dead because I cringe every time I read a post in it....
  • eggiteggit October 2016
    Yea, I've ripped some off on accident before. So I am familiar with how much they bleed. Soaking them first is a pretty good idea.
    Have you tried applying sodium hydroxide to the nail bed to prevent regowth?
    What do you mean by pulling from the cuticle? The cuticle is the base of the nail, and I can't envision how you could grip it without cutting away skin first.

    I am not sure how serious I am trying this, but now that Meanderpaul has weighed in I'm going to make sure this thread stays bumped.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
  • actiiactii October 2016
    Is he trolling?
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    specify who?
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    I'm afraid I still can't understand why someone would rip out toenails. Or anything that's in perfectly good condition. I've considered removing teeth if they could be replaced by an artificial tooth that also performed other functions (bone conducting speaker and microphone for a sort of implantable earpiece), but never toe nails. I'll admit I thought it'd be cool to have metal finger nails that sharp blades that popped out a bit, but I never thought I'd remove a perfectly good body part just for giggles. I'd remove a problematic part, for instance my appendix is absent.

    If bones didn't have important parts in them and were just solid bones, I'd have as many as possible replaced with some sort of metal bones. Again though, if it works fine, I'd keep it. Personally, I trim my toenails once a month. Roughly. Fingernails, twice a month. My hair grows like crazy though, falling out all over everything. (I bing it up because of the relation between the three.)
  • glimsglims October 2016
    There seems to be a fair amount of reductionism that floats around here. The whole, sleep/food/toenails/whatever is a waste of my time so let's remove it. Not a fair amount of information about why it's a good idea (because it usually isn't), it just kinda shows up.
  • actiiactii October 2016
    I try to get my tonsils out every time I go to the doc it never works tho..

    Uh, the one casually talking about ripping their toenails off with jewelry pliers ? I'm prob just dumb though.
  • _Larry__Larry_ October 2016
    From my highschool biology crass I learned that the fingernails provide support to the fingers since the bones in the end only go about a third of the way to the end of the finger. When you grab anything the nails provide resistance to keep it from being like trying to grab something with floppy sausages. From the way my feet move and the nails discolor from blood displacement when I walk similar to when I pick something up, I believe toenails may serve the same purpose. 
  • CubeCube October 2016
    I've lost a few nails, the one on my big toe, middle toe(twice) and my thumb. Without the nail the finger/toe feels very sensitive and hurt when bumping into things. And after a week or two when the sensitivity goes down the nail is already growing back. (yes, fully removed nails grow back)

    One thing positive, i found missing nails are not even that weird looking, especially on the toes they are hardly noticeable. On the other hand, missing the nail on my thumb felt like a real handicap. I felt like wearing a really clumsy glove for weeks. Cant really see anything good about pulling them out without a very good reason.

  • _Larry__Larry_ October 2016
    It would be a lot of pain to avoid something I have to do maybe once a month for a few minutes.
  • eggiteggit October 2016
    @Jupiter, I see it as similar to laser hair removal. Some people find constant shaving or waxing to be a lot of upkeep, so they permanently avoid the hassle.

    @larry and cube, Interesting thought about the nail providing support. I know the clumsy glove experience you talk about with fingers, but I don't remember feeling any ill effects a week out after having toe nails ripped off.
  • IvoTheSquireIvoTheSquire October 2016
    @glims: Considering how our society puts emphasis on "efficiency" and "productivity" (esp. our attitude towards sleep deprivations and things like "sleep is for the weak") you're surprised?
  • Wolfcat_XWolfcat_X October 2016
    Sorry for the delayed response.
    eggit - to answer your question, I'm sorry that I was unclear. I'll try to explain. Basically, you want to get a solid grip on your toenail as close to the base of the nail as possible. As in, as close to the cuticle. Don't actually pull up the cuticle (unless you want to I guess??). And instead of pulling up and away, which would be a peeling motion or perpendicular to the nail bed, try to yank the nail out parallel to the nail bed, which would be outward as seen from the cuticle. If you'd like, I can try to draw a diagram for you. -- Peeling away perpendicular to the nail bed is more painful *in my experience* than pulling outward. Like you're extracting a tooth I guess (though my only experience with losing teeth was losing my baby teeth).
    And as regards sodium hydroxide: No, I never thought about applying anything to the nail bed after the removal of the nail to prevent regrowth. The only thing I've consistently applied after removal has been alcohol, soap and water, and antibiotic ointments.

    actii if you were asking if I'm trolling: I promise you I'm not.

    To the people who asked why do this... I don't know, *shrug* honestly I just don't like my toenails. I really really don't like them. I think they're disgusting honestly and I'd rather rip them out once a year than have them growing on my toes at all ever. - To which end, I'd also like to mention that after having removed a few of them more than a couple of times, it just doesn't hurt that much after awhile (probably nerve damage?); this past week, I removed another of my toe nails that was bothering me, and it was sore for a day and a half but after that, didn't feel like anything. So to me, personally, it's just not that big a deal anymore.
  • eggiteggit October 2016
    I get it, no need for a picture. We are grossing people out enough as is.
    Sodium hydroxide seems to be the standard way that doctors kill off the nail bed.I'd be curious to hear back from you if you ever gave it a try.

    Its interesting to hear someone had the same thought as me. Still not sure if I want to go through with it.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    I guess we all have our own ways of dealing with things. Personally I'd like little nanites crawling in my head hair to keep it short (i figure if there's microscopic bits of hair falling off all the time, it would just end up like dead skin cells or dust that supposedly falls off our bodies all the time, no one would ever notice it). More so I'd like some sort of (possibly slightly larger) robot to crawl around in my mouth to clean my teeth. I think it would both be more hygienic than me brushing my teeth, and it'd save me a bit of time, it could also be done after any time I eat, which is way more often than I brush my teeth manually. I have seen this company that'll do a scan and 3D print a giant brush thing that fits around all your teeth simultaneously (custom fit to your teeth, hence the scanning) and supposedly does the job of a 2 minute tooth brushing in 2 seconds of wiggling it around for a moment. Personally, brushing my teeth doesn't take that long, so anything short of a permanent solution to the "body care" function, isn't worth the time.

    EDIT: The robot in the mouth thing (possibly coupled with all artificial teeth) is something I'd consider having a perfectly good tooth replaced with (going under the assumption here that, when not actively cleaning teeth, it fit inside some sort of cavity or recess ("cavity" sounds bad when talking about teeth) inside a couple of artifical teeth that were put in in place of perfectly good teeth specifically for that purpose. I actually did some research on artificial teeth (since I already knew that was actually a hint some people have) a while back (just for the topic of artificial teeth being stronger and easier to keep clean) and decided I wasn't too fond of the idea when I realized that they were implanted by first having a sort of mount screwed into the bone above or below where the teeth go, depending on upper or lower jaw, I didn't particularly like that idea. But now that I think about it, that might be because most tooth implants are put in to replace teeth that have fallen out on their own, possibly due to a gum condition that prevents the teeth from staying on their own, so the artificial teeth are out in specifically because normal teeth can't be attached in that way, which would open the possibility that healthy gums could hold artificial teeth on their own. I also saw a somewhat freakish looming picture recently of a very young child's skull (with nothing on it) such that you could see the cavities in the skull where the adult teeth form before moving into the mouth area. It looked freakish, the same way a pomegranate looks freakish, in my opinion. But I was thinking about that and wondered, if the bone that grows to fill in those cavities is hollower... basically did someone else think this before me and thought, "we can screw into that without causing major damage to the jaw bones", which would also be an argument against my immediate negative thoughts about screwing something into the jaw.

    All things considered, if I didn't feel it (aneasthetic) during the required surgery, and it didn't like, hurt frequently afterwards, and didn't deform my gums drastically, I could see the whole screwing into the jaw thing. I have several implant ideas that would be great if they could be mounted to or simply be the teeth in the mouth.

    EDIT: My previous EDIT was longer than my original reply... perhaps I should have just done another post... oh well...
  • IvoTheSquireIvoTheSquire October 2016
    To be honest, I'm kind of surprised by some of the attitudes displayed in this thread. Aren't you lot people with magnet implants and other body mods being judged by others outside of this community for being "gross", "disrespectful of human body" etc? So why the heck am I seeing people doing exactly the same thing to each other? Why do people even need to defend their decisions on what they do to their bodies? Don't we get enough crap from outsiders that we have to do EXACTLY THE SAME THING to each other?
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    @IvoTheSquire It's not personal, we're just expressing our opinions. We all have different opinions. If it improved or added anything, I'd do just about any adding things. Removing perfectly good things that doesn't particularly improve my body any way doesn't seem like a great idea in my opinion.

    If anyone here took our opinions the wrong way, I'll apologize on behalf of whoever said it. Personally, I meant no more than to express my opinion. Which is that I think it's foolish. But it's your body, do as you wish.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    I meant mine I cringe every time and am thankful there's no video or pics. ;)
  • ZerbulaZerbula October 2016
    The consensus here should be 'I don't agree, but I support your choice to investigate'. ^^

    I think all ideas should be free to be at least spoken.

    There will be some that are redundant. There will be some that are impossible, impractical, foolish, disgusting, or simply not desired. #_#

    But why not grab a big old handful of ideas, and pull the shiny ones out?
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    Zerbula is right put the shiny ideas out there no matter what you will get some kinda input (that is useful).
  • eggiteggit October 2016
    Yea, I don't feel like anyone was being judgmental or negative. Meanderpaul was just expressing that the idea grosses him out personally, not that I'm a gross person for thinking about it. He does need to come to terms that hes morbidly curious though, otherwise he would have stopped posting in this thread. Admit man, some part of you wants to try this. [=
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul October 2016
    I will definitely agree I have wicked curiosity....and it's one of those "I just can't stop watching..." threads. Also I am still not doing it never lost a nail and don't plan on it anytime soon :p
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    If they could be removed, never grown back, and have some sort of titanium nails put in their place, that I could see doing. More with fingers than toes though. Could definitely see slide out cutting edges on titanium fingernails before seeing them in teeth. I wonder, if one were to cut back into the finger a bit, would it be feasible to remove the entire nail and the... nail version of a hair follicle (sorry, did no research, the idea literally came to me while typing about the titanium nails) such that there was no place for the nail to grow back from, and slide in some sort of titanium nails in their place? What are the chances the skin would wrap around the nails like it was before and just hold it there without some sort of surgically applied mounting system?
  • _Larry__Larry_ October 2016
    If you insisted on the titanium nails I personally would put a peg through the finger bone to attach it. The only problem I see is a normal nail gives but that wouldnt so you wouldnt want to hit it on anything. Can you imagine titanium toenails and stubbing your toe?!
  • eggiteggit October 2016
    Titanium nails would be pretty rad, but I'd never consider removing my fingernails, and I'd hate to risk losing them. They are not useless like toe nails are in my opinion. They have tons of use such as picking up small objects, or scraping things. I also see the argument of the nail providing support being more valid for fingernails. Something like typing where all of the pressure would be straight on the bone tip would be very odd.
  • katzevonstichkatzevonstich October 2016
    @Jupiter If I could get titanium nails (or raptor claws) or another material, I'd take out my finger nails in a heartbeat for replacement. Despite taking synthroid, my nails never recovered from all that time untreated. They're incredibly fragile and will crack, peel, and rip right up the middle at a moment's notice. Drives me nuts. Spouse practically has claws and finger picks guitar with them. My nails are cracking just at the thought of it.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    @_Larry_ Hadn't thought of that. Well, I don't imagine I'd do it with toenails anyways. Not at first at least. The practical uses of cutting things or handling smaller objects better or mounting tiny tools (i have no examples, just thought you might could do so) don't really apply to toenails like the my do fingernails. That said, if I did it successfully with fingernails, I would consider later doing it with toenails as I would probably start to think that my toenails are oddly useless at that point.

    That said, "peg through the finger bone" sounds both painful and difficult. Considering the size of the bone.
  • eggiteggit October 2016
    See, I'd probably start with toenails as a trial run. That is if this titanium nails thing is something anyone is serious about looking into to.
    If things go wrong and you permanently screw up your toenail its not a big deal. I'd hate to permanently have no finger nails.

    I am actually starting to get a little bit curious about this now. Since its not actually going inside the body, is bio-compatibility a strong concern or is the contact with the nail bed enough for that to matter. I could make a nail out of medical grade stainless pretty easy and pop it in a toe to see what happens. Titanium is a little harder to get and work with.
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    Fortunately and unfortunately "replacing" fingernails is a problem. On one hand, if you screw something up, it would grow back. On the other hand, if things go well, you still need to find a way to keep the natural fingernails from growing back. Aside from surgically cutting out the entire nail bed, any thoughts on suppressing ail growth?
  • Wolfcat_XWolfcat_X October 2016
    To clarify - I didn't mean a picture but a simple diagram, I was planning to draw it in Paint haha.. I do it to myself and even * I * don't want a photo of it.
    As a side note: in doing some basic research on using sodium hydroxide, particularly in relation to it's contact with my nail beds to prevent nail growth, I came across this little gem - "Italian serial killer Leonarda Cianciulli used this chemical to turn dead bodies into soap."
    - queue 'the more you know' star -

    And the idea of titanium nails is really interesting! - especially what Larry said, attaching them to the finger bone. It sounds like Wolverine which was always something I loved the idea of. In practice, I suspect rejection would be an issue.
  • Wolfcat_XWolfcat_X October 2016
    Jupiter - I agree about the fingernails and like others here have said, I too feel my fingernails are useful enough to be kept.

    As far as suppressing nail growth, that's something that I've been wanting to work toward. Maybe we can find a better solution than either cutting out the nail bed or using a caustic chemical to burn it off. For what it's worth, I would put "suppressing nail growth" in a different category than "removal of nail bed" because to me the first one sounds like it would be a systemic hack while the second one is more of a .. point by point fix. (I don't know what to call it.. like painting your whole wall to get rid of a few nail holes versus using a dab of spackle to fill each hole.)
  • JupiterJupiter October 2016
    A "cover all" solution vs a "bandaid" solution is what I'd probably call it.

    EDIT: On second thought, not a fan of the term "cover all". Not quite sounding the way I envisioned it in my head.
  • _Larry__Larry_ October 2016
    Isn't sodium hydroxide lye? Lye is a normal part of soap making so basically the only odd thing she did was use human fat. Plastic surgeons have made candles for patients before using their own fat.
  • BoboTheEpicBoboTheEpic October 2016
    Yes, sodium hydroxide is the chemical most frequently used to perform saponification (the chemical process of turning fats to soap). It is very dangerous when handled incorrectly (chemical burns, blindness... the usual from strong alkali, NaOH is 13+ pH I think) so if you decide to do anything with this, don't splash it around! Always add lye to mixtures, never mixtures directly to lye. (although this is more critical in reactions with strong acids, as it will bubble vigorously)
  • Unlucky_StrikesUnlucky_Strikes October 2016
    Has anyone contemplated how to avoid stress to the surrounding tissue after a titanium nail was mounted? I feel like you would have to reinforce whatever you were using as a mount as well.

    Hehe sorry, kind of an aside I suppose.

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