PC patients use a variety of cutting tools to trim and manage their keratoderma.
Some of these products are listed below in alphabetical order. At the 2015 Patient Support Meeting, Dr. Al Bravo, a podiatrist and PC patient, recommended using the “312 blade scalpel.” Using an internet search, you can find a number of manufacturers of this type of specialty scalpel blade.
PATIENT TIPS & COMMENTS FOR HAND TOOLS
??? patient: “I have used fake nails for years. I file my nails down with a sand paper foot file and ordinary nail file. For my feet, and to remove the hard skin, there is a German product with a blade I use. That product also are use of people without my illness for remove hard skin on feet. The name of product is Credo.”
K17 patient: “Callus Shavers — I have an assortment, but prefer the LaCross one as the handle does not break as easily. These are available from many beauty supply stores for about $5.00. The blades are also available there (I use Sally Beauty Supply). Again, care is needed as slips result in painful cuts/slices and they take time to heal. I shave my calluses about once a week and use the PediEgg and file in between. NOTE — I ONLY shave calluses in the bathtub after the calluses have softened for 10 minutes or so. Shaving hard calluses is not recommended as you cannot control the shaving as much. Some of the callus shavers break rather easier, but the LaCross seems to last longer.”
PCers use many different types of nail clippers for trimming nails and calluses.
K6b patient: “Trim with nail clipper. File with sapphire stone.”
K16 patient: “I use a normal nail cutter.”
K6a patient: “I use big nail clippers or dog clippers. I usually soak first.”
K16 patient: “The dog clippers I had are made by Wahl and are called ‘Guillotine Claw Clippers.'”
K17 patient: “Nail Clippers — The brand is ProFoot and they can normally be found at Walmart and many drugstores. These clippers are a larger size, better cutting point, and cushioned grips are easier to use (about $11-$15).”
K6a patient uses the following tools for feet and nails: “I use the ped egg (not pictured) weekly for my calluses. Besides the Ped Egg, the other very important tool for me is the small scissors on the photo, which I use to drain and care the open sores practically every day. For my nails (hands and feets), I basically use the salon boards in the photo, at least once a week.”
K16 patient: “My two tools of choice are a single edge razor blade and these large toenail clippers. I’ve never had any success with pumice stones or any other frictional debridement tool. My dad always used single edge blades and that’s what he taught us to use. My father used to soak his feet before he cut them. I cut them without soaking them because it allows me to judge better how thick they really are and I don’t cut myself. When you soak them, the calluses soften making them easier to cut. The downside of soaking the callus is the color of the callus lightens and makes it difficult to judge how thick they are and I feel you are more likely to cut yourself beneath the surface of the callus, which can be dangerous.”
K16 patient: “I have tight hold on the nails. While shortening them, the less movement, the better for the nail bed.”
K6a patient: “I soak in cold water for pain, but cannot walk after the soak. My feet will feel better the next day. I trim my feet about every week. I do not use any type of drill. I use big nail clippers — or dog clippers — to cut my calluses. I use the same tool for my nails. For my palms, I use my teeth.”
K16 patient: “I use Neosporin — “bag balm,” loop balm under my fingernails when they are cracked or really dry. To trim the nails, I soak them and then use wire nippers. At work, I use a bench grinder on the real bad ones.”
??? patient: “I use nail clippers on the side of the nail and then file them smooth to remove the jagged edges. Once complete, I wash my hands thoroughly and apply hand lotion to smooth out the cuticle.”
??? patient: “Soak and use nail clippers and day clippers. Occasionally, I cause trauma to the nail bed if they are too rough when clipping. “
??? patient: “I use a large clipper to cut off calluses.”
K16 patient: “My dad always used single edge blades and that’s what he taught us to use. My father used to soak his feet before he cut them. I cut them without soaking them because it allows me to better judge how thick they really are and I don’t cut myself. When you soak them, the calluses soften, making them easier to cut. The downside of soaking the callus is the color of the callus lightens and makes it difficult to judge how thick they are and I feel you are more likely to cut yourself beneath the surface of the callus.”
??? patient: “I use Schick razors to trim. It is safer than plain razor blades.”
K16 patient: “I use a double-edge razor to peel off my skin, both in my feet and palms.”
??? patient: “I use razor blades to slice off the thick skin on my feet. I usually take a bath first so my skin is softer. I keep it down under a quarter of an inch. After cutting thick skin, I put on socks and wears shoes. The first two days are bad, but then good for a week or more.”
K6a patient: “When I trim my feet and nails, I use a razor blade because it’s flexible.”
K6a patient: “I use double-edge razor blades. When the sores on my feet grow too long, my feet start hurting again.”
??? patient: “I use a single-edge razor blade to keep my callouses thin. I have a hand held sander that I then lightly use to smooth out where I cut. When I have blisters, I pop them right away with a needle and alcohol. I do this as often as needed.”
Cx30 patient: “I soak my feet in warm water to soften the skin, and then use a one-sided razor blade (like used in paint scrapers), which is safer than double-edged. I then gently pare off the thickened skin. I can’t bear to have a podiatrist touch my feet as they are just too sensitive.”
K16 patient: “What I learned in 50 years! Too much care causes more calluses and more pain. Razor blades often take too much off.”
K6a patient: “I soak in salt water, nay temperature when my feet ache (usually hot weather). I use razor blades on calluses when they hurt. My child can tell me which one they need trimmed and how often.”
A scalpel is a small but extremely sharp knife. There are surgical scalpels and safety scalpels. One type of safety scalpel.
??? patient: “I soak my feet before trimming in warm water, then use a safety scalpel. I trim at night so they “rest” overnight. Safety scalpels have a long handle, so it’s easier to use on less accessible areas, plus, if it slips, it doesn’t cut normal skin.”