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toenail technician

today i seriously considered having all my toenails surgically removed. instead, i ordered a copy of john vonhof’s “fixing your feet“.

i wake up and notice that my left big toe is inflamed. (and painful). after studying it for a few minutes i realize that the lower right corner of the nail is loose, but still inside the flesh, and pierces it with every step. i try to loosen the left side up in order to pull the nail out completely, but it is still holding strong on that side. not knowing what to do, and not having much time to think about it — gotta leave for work — i decide to just wear flip-flops to at least spare myself the pain of crushing my “toesies” inside shoes.

as i’m driving back from work it hits me: “how will i be able to RUN?” i start working on the problem as soon as i get home. i got wildly creative, and came up with the following solution:

  • required materials:
  • scissors
  • gauze
  • tape
  • cotton
  • baby oil
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • iodine tincture


  1. wash foot in warm water
  2. disinfect affected nail with hydrogen peroxide
  3. using scissors, lift nail from bed and remove the loose side from the flesh (ouch!)
  4. soak 1/2 of a cotton ball in baby oil and insert it under the nail, close enough to the loose corner, so that when pressed, the nail pierces the cotton, not the flesh
  5. cover entire area with iodine tincture; it creates a nice visual effect
  6. cut a strip of gauze, cover the toe with it and secure with tape
  7. follow usual running preparation routine

i had a few things to do, (such as pack for the weekend, a few phone calls, and paperwork), so i could not go on a longer run, but i did go out for 6 miles on the bike path. amazingly, i ran without pain, and (very important), no additional damage was done to the nail. well, anything for a run. and this was an awesome one.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Jessica Deline November 10, 2006, 6:04 pm

    I think the book options are better than surgically removing them 🙂

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