Removing Toenails



  • edited 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?
  • @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.
  • I meant mine I cringe every time and am thankful there's no video or pics. ;)
  • 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?
  • Zerbula is right put the shiny ideas out there no matter what you will get some kinda input (that is useful).
  • 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. [=
  • 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
  • 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?
  • 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?!
  • 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.
  • @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.
  • @_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.
  • edited 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • edited 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Strikes - Thats why I suggested mounting into the bone underneath. Having the nail free-floating would not be a smart option imo. When knock your nail, normally the nail-bed catches the back of the nail and the the nail flexes to absorb shock. A free-floating nail even in-bedded in the nail-bed would be dangerous. I'm trying to think of a better way to mount but the bone seems to be the sturdiest option.
  • edited October 2016
    I don't claim to be an expert in anything but google fu, and even that is debatable. It sounds like sodium hydroxide or phenol are pretty commonly used by doctors to prevent nail regrowth.

    I also wasn't thinking clearly before, I was assuming you would just rip the nail out, kill the bed, pop a titanium nail in place, and it would stay in place the same way a real nail does. Thats obviously not the case since I am sure a living nail bed forms a bond with the nail.

    I'm pretty new to this stuff, is there any type of bio-compatible material that might form a bond with nail bed? Perhaps we could kill off just the root to prevent growth, and then use the bed to bond the new artificial nail.

    If we could devise a non invasive way to mount this, I'd give it a shot.

    EDIT: For the people too squeamish to run an image search for missing toenails, I found a non-graphic picture of a healed one. Its weird looking, but shouldn't be gross or anything.
    I am also beginning to think toenails don't really work how I think they do. Seems like without a nail in place, the skin will just flatten itself out.
  • Came across an article Permanent toenail removal is somewhat common among marathon runners.
  • @eggit: Interesting. It sounds like an actual legit procedure if people are doing it already.
  • Have you found any sort of instructional video on this procedure or is this like a grin and yank?
  • Its pretty straight forward. Its common practice as treatment for ingrown or fungal infected nails. Although killing the nail bed is not as common and usually reserved for severe cases or ultra-marathoners as far as I can tell.
    The toenail removal is basically just grabbing the nail and pulling it out, not much more to it really. Doctors use a local, but the right person could probably do without. If one wanted to do it at home, it wouldn't bed hard.
    I can't find much info about the killing the nail bed though, other than its done. Be nice to see some concentrations for the chemicals used, and exactly how they are applied.
    It sounds like the ultra marathoners that do this are just going to the podiatrist, so it probably wouldn't be hard to have a professional do it if you wanted to.

    I did find this ridiculous looking tool. Warning for the squeamish, no blood, but its kinda barbaric. It looks like docs just grab with forceps and pull though.
  • *squeams internally*

    Yeah, looks like it's just a yank machine. I feel a little less happy with my toes now that I know you can literally just pull off the nail with (apparently) no additional treatment. That's really gross, but I guess kinda useful too...
  • Anyone sensitive should definitely skip reading this post!

    As someone who's had quadruple big-toe surgeries (to get rid of a tendency for them to get infected from in-growing) I can shed some light onto the subject of destroying nail plates (which permanently stops nail growth). Basically you get a local anaesthetic (two shots for a big toe, one on each side) from your doctor, these feel like you would imagine it feeling if your toes were literally going to explode (which was interesting :D). After that, he'll use a pair of surgical scissors, pushing them up underneath the nail itself until it reaches the nail sinus (which is where nails grow from), cutting it and removing the excess bits (for me about 3-4 mm on each side). Then, using a tiny scalpel he'll cut away enough soft tissue around it to be able to reach the root (sinus) itself, not alot, about the volume of an RFID tag I'd say. With this gone he then switches to a tool that looks somewhat like an icecream scoop, about 3mm across and razor sharp and use it to literally scrape away the root. An interesting experience, you can actually feel it pull on just your skeleton all the way up to the ankle. Oh and also you can clearly hear/feel it breaking (sort of like a crackle/scraping noise). All in all it took my doc about 20-30 minutes per toe, although I guess removing all of it would take a bit longer. This would, however, completely eliminate the risk of it growing back (provided he's thorough that is).

    Hope that helps :)
  • @eggit where are you located? I have a fair amount of experience with DIY surgeries, have used and have access to lidocaine, most likely have all the medical supplies required, my job is in the medical field, so if you're interested and local id love to help.
  • Just recently lost a toe nail. A Big One. Fashioned it into a pick, I did. NAILED IT! No nail covering, plus toe smashing, equals pure pain. No ifs ands or buts about it. That shnitz hurt!
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