An obvious answer might be to protect the delicate tissues of the toes, but this is not strictly the case.

If the nail were to be removed the skin beneath would eventually harden and would not be sensitive.

Toenails have a more practical purpose – or they used to for man’s primate ancestors; they were for picking up small objects and for scratching! Humans use their fingernails for these tasks now, but apes and monkeys can be observed picking up food, grooming each other and scratching with both fingernails and toenails.

So, toenails would seem to be no more than an evolutionary hangover – and some people may view them as nothing but an unnecessary evil. They can be difficult to trim, prone to infection and can be extremely painful if banged or if they become ingrown.

Unless in perfect health and neatly kept, they can look unsightly and may be best hidden in shoes or covered with nail polish.

Women are more likely than men to be concerned about the appearance of their toenails and spend much more time and money on them.

Read more about the structure of your toenails • here •


Add a Comment