Clever use of a small steampunk device to help with ingrown toenails

[Read the post]

No, I don’t know how painful it is. Never had that before, and I’m old. Googling says you can prevent it my trimming your nails properly. I guess I’m lucky I have been cutting them properly without realizing it.

1 Like

This isn’t steampunk. My toenail clippers aren’t steampunk. My car scissor jack isn’t steampunk. Neither is my pencil sharpener. Just because it looks brass doesn’t mean it’s steampunk. Jeeez.


Sounds like someone’s a little … puts on sunglasses



Well it’s significantly more steampunk than my own method, which involves an exacto knife and tequila.

And yeah, those buggers do hurt.


What kind of abuse are you doing to your feet to get nails curved over that much?


Then keep doin’ what you are doin’. They aren’t the most painful thing, but they are an order of magnitude above obnoxious. An ounce of prevention is worth… Not removing a nail with pliers.


That’s a cool tool, but these toenails are way curled up, and I don’t really know why. I’ve had a few ingrown toenails that didn’t look like that, and this tool wouldn’t have helped. The way my doctor did it was to roll some cotton between the fingers into a cylinder shape, coat with ointment, and pack into the space between the nail edge and skin. Change “dressing” as needed. Worked like a charm.


Although I’ve never had a big problem with ingrown toenails, and certainly nothing like the FREAK in that video, this device is pleasing to me. I just really like the way that things become possible / easy with exactly the right tool.

It does have a design flaw, though, in that it lifts both sides of the nail with equal force. It seems unlikely that most toenails would be equally curled on both sides-- they aren’t in the video-- so it would make sense to be able to slide the screw on the crossbar to apply more force on one side or the other.


The best way to prevent them is to get a straight-edged toenail clipper. Clip the nails square, not rounded, to prevent the corners from getting ingrown. I used to get them constantly. My doctor would do the same thing @realgeek did with a cotton wad, and that helped.

I went to one podiatrist to help with them, and after my second visit, he suggested using a laser to permanently remove my toenails. “You’ll look funny on the beach, but no more ingrowns!” No thanks, crazy foot doc.

1 Like

But it has gears! Or a screw, anyway.



What is it with podiatrists? I mean other than the foot fetish, they just wanna rip out nails or something?

I’d never even known what an ingrown toenail really was until today.

I’d heard the term, but that’s it. Guess I’ve never had one.

1 Like

My dad had surgery to correct his. He’s got skinny big toe nails now. They look pretty funny but it fixed the problem.

That’s what they did to my perpetually-ingrown left big toe: trimmed a quarter-inch off the side and dug out that part of the root. It’s skinnier now but doesn’t look super weird, and I haven’t had the problem in many years.

The Wikipedia states that it’s common to ill-fitting shoe wearers, often when the toes are boxed in and there is a very humid environment in the shoe (I guess the same reason why soaking the nail can soften it for repair).

Never had an ingrown toenail, but eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…

Well that falls into what kind of abuse category. How can a shoe that does that be comfortable? Why would anyone wear shoes that do that?
I long ago gave up style in my everyday shoes and have gone with hiking boots cause my ankles hate me. While they can feel clunky after awhile there is plenty of toe room and they are comfy to wear all day.

1 Like

I worry about the person in the video, who also appears to have trouble trimming his or her thumbnail… (assuming it’s the same person).

I’m assuming that it’s due to economic or distribution problems, when proper-fitting shoes are not always available, but still a better alternative to walking around barefoot in the landscape.

Living in the U.S., it sucks that I can’t find narrower shoes for sale to the general public, and must pay a pretty penny if I want ones that fit properly. Bad for my arches, but at least my toes aren’t being boxed in like that.

I got my first ingrown toenail in high school; I was in the marching band, and we had to wear special military-esque pointy toed shoes with spats. Our band was a very big deal at the time and I didn’t want to miss any games or shows, so I’d just wrap my sore toe in gauze. The shoes definitely caused my toenail to grow wrong. By the end of the season it was in very bad shape and I had to get my first toe surgery :grimacing:

1 Like