Bathroom Foot Surgery: Why You Shouldn’t Try it at Home
For some reason, we tend to treat our feet with much less respect than other parts of our bodies. From patients cutting nails with pliers, trying to remove hardened skin with scissors or botching an own ingrowing toenail ‘operation’, over the years we’ve seen a few examples bathroom surgery that have left us scratching our heads.
Head to sites like YouTube and you’ll find a whole host of videos of people doing everything from shaving off their calluses to trying to cutting out a wart with a kitchen knife. Problems with the feet can cause a lot of pain but doing the surgery yourself is probably the worst thing you can do and will almost certainly make things worse.
Basically, this comes down to the fact that if you’re not qualified, you won’t know what you’re doing. It might seem like the cheap and easy option but, for many people, carrying out surgery can lead to more pain and damage. You don’t know what the underlying condition of the skin is or how deep you should cut, especially with problems like calluses.
Not only that, it’s surprising the number of people who use completely inappropriate equipment to do the treatment – everything from pins and kitchen knives to large pairs of scissors. One injudicious slip and you could end up with a deep cut if you’re trying to repair something like an ingrowing toenail.
Risk of Infection
Using equipment that hasn’t been properly sterilised or simply isn’t appropriate means that you can easily end up with an infection. This is particularly dangerous if you have problems with your immune system or suffer from a condition such as diabetes. Even a small puncture wound can lead to a bacterial infection and the development of a painful abscess, or worse, that could really impact on your health.
Simple bathroom surgeries like cutting your cuticles can leave your nail more open to infection. Trying to sandpaper areas of hard skin might leave you in pain with the nerves exposed. Handling an ingrowing toenail yourself might mean you make the inflammation worse because parts of the nail are left in the delicate skin, causing infection.
Why It’s Best to See a Podiatrist
It’s always important to seek the help and advice of a healthcare professional when it comes to foot care issues. It can be tempting to jump on the internet and find a self-help video so you can do a DIY operation of some sort. Unfortunately, this often just leads to more problems and too frequently goes wrong.
A podiatrist is a qualified foot specialist and they will be able to diagnose your issue and, more importantly, treat it appropriately. They’ll have been trained to remove calluses and corns, for instance, or know how to handle ingrowing toenails or a fungal infection. They’ll also use sterilised equipment which means the chance of infection is greatly reduced.
At our foot care clinic, we often see the result of bathroom surgery that has gone wrong. Our advice is always to seek out a qualified podiatrist if you have a problem with your feet – it will save you a lot of pain and trouble in the long run.