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Bathroom (foot) surgery

I often ask patients if they have a BS (Bathroom Surgery) certificate in reference to the self care they perform on their own (unsuspecting) feet. As a clinical instructor in a school of Podiatry I have found that patients can do far more harm than any supervised student.

Attempting to trim even normal nails with unsterile instruments is a hazard enough, but bending over to actually see what you are doing compounds the problem. The spicules and sharp edges often left behind by such self-mutilation is a further invitation to infection.

"Do you have a spare toe in your back pocket" places such care in proper prospective. Often parents with the poorest foot sensation and vascular supply seem to be the ones most tempted toward self care.

Bunion splints that produce early osteoarthritis and 'infamous' acid pads are other common over-the-counter methods of self destruction. If in doubt don't do it!