Medieval Torture Device Tackles Ingrown Toenails

Pity the poor toe. It gets stubbed, stepped on and stuffed into ill-fitting shoes. It’s no wonder then, that toes rebel against such treatment – and one of the most painful ways this happens is the ingrown toenail.

There’s no easy or happy way to deal with a toenail that’s curled itself down into the surrounding flesh, but this device from Japan is supposedly more painful to watch in action than to actually use.

To begin with, the brass-plated Mai-zume Robo looks like something a terrorist would keep on his keychain for those moments when the electrodes aren’t available, and he just has to improvise.

First, the user slips the little hooks on the ends of the two arms under the deeply embedded edges of the ingrown nail.

Users are then urged to soak the foot in warm water for 20 minutes. When the nail is softened – brace yourself – you turn a screw between the arms to gradually pull the nail edges out of your raw flesh.

Then users (if they haven’t fainted dead away) are urged to hit the reformed nail with a hair dryer to harden it into its new position.

The odds that this is a permanent fix probably aren’t good. Not good at all.

Since the video has gotten over 5 million views since being posted in May 2014, it’s possible that a Hollywood screenwriter has seen it, so I expect it to show up in a future Bond movie.

Deep breath, people: