This Man’s Callus-Shaving Video Went Viral. Here's What a Podiatrist Thinks
The so-gross-you-can’t-look-away clip shows a man removing thick foot calluses with a razor blade. We had to know: Is going DIY like this a safe removal method?
The Internet is full of totally disgusting—yet strangely entertaining—images of bumps and lumps getting popped and lopped. The latest to go viral? This 20-minute callus-shaving clip posted by the YouTube channel Never Ending Callus. It takes the cake as one of the yuckiest and most fascinating videos to ever hit social media feeds.
In the stomach-churning scene, an unidentified man takes a razor blade to his extremely callused foot, shaving off chunks of dead, hardened skin to reveal yellow skin underneath. We're warning you, this video is graphic.
Amazingly, the man appears to accomplish his goal: he gets rid of the callused skin and doesn’t cut the softer skin around it at all. Still, this kind of DIY skin treatment is not a wise option. “This is very dangerous,” says Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatrist in New York City. “You could cut your skin with a rusty razor and get an infection which can lead to sepsis,” a virulent and potentially deadly bacterial infection.
A much better idea when it comes to getting rid of a callus is to hightail it to a podiatrist's office and have a professional remove it with a sterile blade, says Brenner. Your podiatrist will continue to manage it on a monthly basis, making sure it heals properly and doesn't return. Another tactic is to have a podiatrist do a chemical peel on the callus, then use a special machine to sand it down.
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Bottom line: there's no need for a hack job. But if you're hell-bent on handling your calluses at home, you have options. Dr. Brenner suggests trying BabyFoot, a milder chemical peel that can remove calluses—which develop for a number of reasons, such as repeated friction against foot skin, or walking barefoot or in ill-fitting shoes.
In some cases they're caused by a genetic condition. "The calluses in this video appear to be from the hereditary condition called ichthyosis vulgaris, in which your skin doesn’t shed its dead skin cells,” says Dr. Brenner. “It’s difficult to say from just this video, but regular calluses usually aren’t that bad.”
For most people, there are ways to prevent calluses from forming at all. Look for supportive shoes with inserts, moisturize your feet two times a day, and exfoliate (Dr. Brenner suggests Dr. Brenner’s Rx Foot Care System). Visiting a podiatrist regularly is also a smart prevention strategy.