Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love going barefoot, wearing open-toed shoes, so on and so forth. Unfortunately, my toenails are rather gruesome, due to an infection that went untreated when I was younger. The infection has been gone a long time, but unfortunately I'm left with some really nasty looking toenails. :(
I've been seeing a podiatrist on and off for the past three or four years for another foot-related issue, who has given me a medicated lacquer to apply, but I have not been very adamant about it because when I was for a three month period, there wasn't much improvement. I've been meaning to restart the lacquer, but there's little incentive to put so much time into my feet with no guarantee of an improvement.
A few years ago, when I would go shoe- and sock-less fairly regularly, friends and acquaintances would notice my feet and some would become rather alarmed: "Oh my God! What happened to your toes?!" When I'd reply that I had an infection years ago, they seemed to miss the word "had" and would get all skeeved out as if it's contagious.
Here's what my toes look like nowadays. Be aware that the pictures are extremely large and quite close-up:
How would you deal with it if you had toes that gnarly looking? "Just don't look at them" isn't really what I'm talking about as other people are going to look and are most likely going to say something. While I try not to care what people say/think, this is something that really hurts when people react so alarmed or get grossed out when they see my feet.
I've dealt with it up 'til now by having my feet almost constantly covered when around other people, but I'd like to be able to go barefoot or wear open-toed shoes once in awhile...
I know I can't control people's reactions, but maybe there's a better thing to say than the fact that I had an infection. Any ideas?
Also, I know there's an option to have cosmetic surgery to fix my nails, but I've already talked that over with my podiatrist: It'd be extremely expensive and the results aren't guaranteed. Him and I both agreed that short of trying the lacquer again, my best option is to live with it. :-/
Mods: I wasn't sure if this belonged more in SO or HL, so move it as you see fit. :)
Results 1 to 25 of 37
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
Do they make press on toe nails?
Those are gnarly indeed. As an open toe shoe girl, I would move towards whatever I had to do to make them acceptable looking to me. Start saving money or use that lacquer, man.
If you were a stranger, I would not say anything but I would be thinking WTF?
As shallow as this may be, those feet might be a deal breaker for me in a relationship.
Hrm... Press-on toe nails don't sound comfortable at all, and it might be more embarrassing for one to fall off... An online friend suggested I try an acrylic nail filler. *Shrug*
I guess I'm lucky that my girlfriend, as she puts it, "just doesn't look at them." :-/
Thanks for taking the time to read and reply, PI.
...I guess what I'm looking for is more in the realm of how to deal with what I have psychologically. 'Cause physically, there isn't much I can do or would desire to do on a daily basis to keep up the fašade...
Last edited by addictivepersona; 05-02-2012 at 01:01.
They're not unsightly (toes aren't that sexy to start with) so I don't see why you can't just deal with it. Ingrown toenails and bad treatments are super common so just say you had that if people are literally gravitating around it.
Just as women often get acrylic fingernails put on their short natural fingernails, you could find a good beautician that could put acrylic toenails onto your own toenails. I know a woman who has that done because her toenails look exactly like yours.
However, she is a woman so she gets them painted/decorated and they look like her own natural toenails.
I don't know if acrylic toenails would look natural on a man, but I don't know anything. I'm just offering the suggestion because I know a woman with the same or a very similar condition and I know how she deals with it.
Go barefoot regardless. I love the sensation of warm (not hot) concrete on the bottom of my feet. I love walking barefoot on cool wet grass on a hot day. If you focus on the relationship the soles of your feet have with the Earth, and how much enjoyment and stability it gives you, then you might just forget about your toenails. It depends on where your focus is.
Maybe that's the point.
not sure what you can do now that you've seen a doctor. as someone who has to put on makeup eyebrows every day, i'm tempted to tell you to just suck it up and live with covering them up. it's probably enough for them to let them breathe at night? then again, i'm usually in big black boots. i've never been a beach-going, outdoors, nature-loving kind of girl...
I would continue with the treatment tbh. Even if it doesn't change the appearance, you might at least prevent any further infection. And you never know, it might make some difference in appearance, you won't know until you keep it up. We all maintain our appearance and health in different ways without really any guarantee of success but most of us keep doing it - anti aging moisturiser, I'm talking to you!
Personally I don't think they're that bad - they're noticeable but everyone has flaws and if they don't, they will soon enough. Since you've discussed this with your doc, I'm guessing the only options open to you are surgery, lacquer or not caring what people think.
Also, what is up with some people rudely asking you about your personal appearance? I have a couple of scars from a car accident when I was younger, on my arm and legs, small but noticeable if you're looking I guess, which people ask about occasionally. It's not the asking I mind, it's more the semi awkward facial expression which then makes me feel awkward! I don't know, I'm just not the kind of person who bags people about the weight they've gained or their larger than average nose or whatever, it's kind of pointless.
I would continue to say you had an infection but state it was when you were a child (so people don't freak out) - at least telling the truth is consistent and easy to remember.
And very true about the focus bit. Thanks. :) It helps 'cause feeling the warm blacktop is one of my favorite sensations--Takes me back to my childhood almost. (Man, I used to love walking barefoot on my grandma's driveway in the evenings--When it had cooled just enough to walk comfortably on. Such a nice feeling.)
Anyways, I think you're right about continuing with the lacquer. I'll never know if I don't try. The main reason I stopped with the lacquer, in addition to not seeing results, was that I thought it was "so complicated" to keep track of it. See, it's not just apply, apply, apply it every day like nail polish. It gets applied for 13 days, then on the 14th, gets wiped off with nail polish remover--Which is where the real problem is as I can't stand the smell of. The one in the house smells like fruit on top of the acetone. Guess I'll have to ask in the girly thread (if no one answers here) if nail polish remover comes in like... Just plain acetone scents. 'Cause acetone I can stand--I worked in a hardware store for over three years. But the added fragrances and chemicals... I'd go out and buy a bottle of just plain acetone, but I don't want to burn my skin--The lacquer has to be applied on and around the nail on the surrounding skin.
Also, as far as what to say to people, I too think it's best that honesty is the best policy, but I'm going to add that it was when I was little. "I had an infection that went untreated when I was little." Not a lie, though I don't know if at 14 you're still "little." :P
"They" don't "make" acrylic toenails. You'd have to have the stuff applied, and the person would have to know how to fashion a good looking nail out of the acrylic powder that gets mixed with a liquid (no idea) but since you said they hurt, I'd be dealing with that first. Pain is such a drag. If you keep going with the treatment the doc prescribed, maybe you'll be able to eventually have enough healing to relieve any further pain. Your description of the nail thickening and hurting and coming off was painful to read.
Your mom? Um. ok. well... I am sorry her words and deeds hurt you even more. I don't think it would be prudent for me to voice my opinion about her reaction to your distress.
Since you do not get support and understanding from your mom, at least you can find it here, I mean, we're real people, laptops on stomachs, cheeto dust under fingernails, large sleeping dogs for armrests... we help if we can, and listen in any case.
^ *Nodnod* I'm going to restart the lacquer treatment soon--Have to find where I put the bottle, lol. I had no idea acrylic nails didn't come pre-made but I guess it makes sense that they couldn't since so many people's nails are different sizes. And yeah, maybe with further treatment the nails won't be so painful--I guess I'll find out. :)
Yeah, my mom's reactions to the things I have going on in my life are rarely the most sane and supportive of reactions.
That's exactly why I posted here... Figured it was about time to unveil this issue, even if it is just in the virtual world. To date, BL is the most supportive community I've come across.
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
I've been thinking about this (for some reason) and you said you were looking for something to say other than "I had an infection a long time ago."
How about saying you had frostbite when you were a kid? You can get a little bit of sympathy out of it without the yuck factor of an infection; plus to me that's what it looks like.
Not sure if you are gay or not, but as a guy this is definitely not a deal breaker for me (bad teeth is), so in my opinion you should be fine unless you fall in love with a foot fetishist--in which case good luck.
My aunt's toenails look very similar to yours ap. She just rocks sandals and doesn't give a fuck. I don't have a problem with it.
I just recently bought a pair of these on sale:
They are super comfy, and they have that sandal feel while still covering your actual toenails.
Also, when people make rude comments about your feet, just give it right back to them. Even though you're a naturally sweet person, just politely tell them to shut the fuck up There's nothing wrong with putting people in their place when they offend you. They need to know their boundaries! I have a weird like bone-spur looking thing sticking out of the back of my feet, (it looks like this) and people have commented on that and made fun of me for it my entire life. It used to really bother me when people would point it out, but eventually I just came to accept it and realized that I should be thankful that I have working feet at all. And I just told people to stfu and find something else to worry about
Last edited by euphoria; 07-02-2012 at 08:33.
I seriously don't understand the need of some people to comment on another person's appearance I'd also consider continuing the treatment; give it time. I was advised to try taking zinc supplements for a bad acne problem I had last year; after a few months, i didn't really see any kind of improvement, however was encouraged to continue it - in 4.5-5 months, i could see a visible difference in my skin (and haven't had a cold/flu since ) If it would make you feel better, then you could try some kind of acrylic - however i'd get some kind of professional advice about that. I know how acrylic nails can fuck up the actual nail bed of a full nail, so you'd want to be very clear as to any possible side effects to your nails as they are now. If it was me, i'd keep it simple - use the lacquer and if you'd feel more comfortable, look into the above sandals. Otherwise, follow euphoria's aunt's lead - fuck em'
I love those Tevas. I want some of my own.
Walgreens sells press on toenails. I had no idea they existed until I read this thread and decided to google press on toenails. I saw a stripper that had french manicured toenails and I thought that looked weird. Like regular fingernails on her toes, creepy. Now I think they were probably press on. The Walgreen ones look kinda natural and you could probably trim the white tip part off. I had a friend and his fingernails looked just like your toenails. I never bothered to ask what happened. I figured he chewed them off when he was a kid or something.
But thanks for the info, Fossil_Diver! You never know who that could help. :)
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
- Floating across the civilization / simplicity continuum.
I just don't care about your nails. I don't mind them. I still haven't given you a foot massage, by the way!
Seriously, unless you feel your house is THAT filthy to walk around barefoot, just do it. If your mom asks, every time she asks, say "that's just how they are. Everyone has flaws. Shit happens."
Hunter asked me the other day why I'm going deaf. I told him "shit happens." I'm sure you can do they same thing and have it be convincing enough.
I have noticed my feet are looking better since I have started going without shoes. Give it a try? Obviously not outside in this weather, but in the house at least.
^ Yeah, the floors in the first part of the house are pretty filthy. Not so much past the bathroom, but that's 'cause the rugs have already absorbed the grit and grime the dogs and my mom's shoes have tracked in. ;) In the summer, when I do walk around barefoot in my house (believe it or not, I do sometimes), I wash my feet before getting into bed or putting on socks. *Shrug*
That's a good thing to say, but she'd still want an answer. I'll probably just remind her that it's "the same thing (her friend) Cathy had."
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
- Floating across the civilization / simplicity continuum.
There you go. Now it's just time to let those toesies freeee.
I love my feet and take great care of them.
Definitely comply with the treatment Rx'd by the podiatrist. Even if it is a bit of work. Have you consulted a physician as well? A dermatologist or a certified plastic surgeon may have options for you. Ask your G.P. and see if you are referred. It is never a bad thing to get a second or third professional to look at something, they might have different angle on how to manage it.
^ I thought I was taking good care of my feet when I did what my mom told me to do when I noticed some funky discoloration around my toenails: She said to wash them better. So I tried. Didn't quite work and over the next few years, the nails proceeded to get thicker and thicker until they got so painful and would come off at the slightest nudge. Only some partially grew back--Looking basically like they are now. Started seeing a podiatrist around, eh, maybe 2008 or 2009. But this all started around 2003 or 2004.
Lesson learned: Don't trust what my mom says when it comes to health.
That aside, no, I haven't consulted a physician. My pediatrician was the one who referred me to the podiatrist, and I have since changed physicians, who's only asked if I'm seeing a podiatrist. Unfortunately I just went for my physical in January--Because of her odd office hours, I would have to either take time off of school/work, or wait until summer vacation. :-/
Good idea though. I will ask her what she recommends, though it probably won't be any time soon.
Honey I've had a quick read of this thread and I don't think anyone has suggested this yet...
Could you try getting some dark shades of nail polish and PAINT on some nail-shapes over your toes? It will take a bit of practice to get them naturally shaped/sized, but from head-height they will appear to be full-size nails. I've actually done this several times when my big toe nails have fallen off from too much long-distance running, and from head-height (i.e. where people are normally looking from), it totally looks like the nail is still there, especially with darker shades. The only setback is that nail polish washes off skin in the shower so it will only last a couple of days max.
Maybe give it a try??
^ Great idea!
AP, I looked at your feet again this evening. Your toes are well shaped and fit your feet perfectly. Your skin is smooth and not all veiny. Your feet are quite nice actually.
You don't really need new toenails as much as you need to keep your back against the wind your mom blows.