Last month families across the country dyed and hid colorful Easter eggs. You wouldn’t think of using one of these beautiful creations on your tootsies, but many consumers are using another dangerous egg on their feet. They are using the ‘cheese grater-like egg-shaped foot file found in the As Seen on TV aisle at local stores’, which will hereafter be referred to as the ‘Egg File’.
This Egg File is essentially an oval file that scrapes dead, callused skin from the bottom of the feet and contains the scrapings in its shell. This is not a one-time fix for calluses, whatever caused the calluses to form in the first place is not changed by using the Egg File, and they will come back over time.
There are certain patients who should never use products like the Egg File. Patients who are diabetic, have poor circulation, lack the ability to feel pain, have neuropathy, difficulty seeing their feet, or difficulty healing should never use this or similar products. A sharp file cannot distinguish normal versus callused skin, which leaves a huge risk for cuts and abrasions. If a person is over zealous in filing their calluses, they could end up going too deep, which can lead to sores, infection, and worse.
Another concern is that you must be certain that what you are filing is actually a callus. Calluses are commonly confused with warts. Warts are caused by a virus, and using a file can spread the virus, and thereby spreading the wart to other parts of the foot. Also, warts tend to have blood vessels that come close to the surface, so using this product on a wart will greatly increase the chance of bleeding.
If you do own an Egg File, it is not advised to share it with other members in your family. Sharing the Egg File will increase the risk of spreading diseases, including athlete's foot. Additionally, the files that come with the Egg File will eventually wear out. Once this happens, they will become much less effective in removing calluses cleanly, and there will be a greater chance of damaging healthy skin.
Before using the Egg File, make sure you know what you’re treating. A trip to Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates will be a smart investment in your feet, and will be much less painful than a visit after the damage is done. So while you’re dying dozens of eggs this Easter remember to be cautious of one egg- the ‘Egg File’.