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A callus shaver is a small, hand-held tool with a sharp razor blade on it. The shaver is meant to remove hard, dead skin from the feet. A callus shaver features an extremely sharp blade, and it therefore should be used with care and not given to children. The blades need to be kept clean and changed regularly to prevent injury and infection.
Most callus shavers resemble razors used to remove hair from the body. The instrument typically has a thin handle made out of plastic. Some shavers feature a rubberized grip on the handle so that a person can use them with wet hands without fear of slipping.
The blade of a callus shaver is a thin razor blade. Usually, a callus shaver comes with a few replacement blades so that a person doesn't have to use a dull blade on his skin. When removing and changing the blades on a shaver, a person needs to be extremely careful. The old blade should be discarded carefully.
Some callus shavers have foot files or rasps built into the handle, making the tool a two-in-one device. The rasp can be used to soften hard skin on the feet. Usually two-in-one callus shavers have a sliding cover that moves over the blade or rasp when not in use.
A person needs to be extremely careful when using a callus shaver. The shaver should be used only to remove dead skin and calluses from the foot. Removing live skin can cause injury and bleeding and puts a person at risk for infection.
Before using the shaver, the callus should be soaked in warm water. Some people add Epsom salts to the water to improve the skin-softening effects. After soaking the skin for several minutes, a person runs the shaver over the area, peeling off thin layers of skin. It is important to use a light hand when using a callus shaver. Pressing too hard may remove skin that is alive.
As shaving off layers of skin is risky, many doctors do not recommend the practice. If a person has calluses, some doctors recommend using a pumice stone, foot file, or rasp to remove the hardened skin instead of slicing it off. People who do decide to use a shaver on their calluses should be sure to keep the blade clean by wiping it with alcohol after use. Two people should not share a callus shaver, because doing so increases the risk of infection.
@Monika - I don't mind using a callus shaver at home. But then again, I'm way too cheap to pay for a pedicure too, so that might be part of it for me!
Anyway, I have a pedicure shaver I bought at the grocery store, and I've never had a problem with it. I've never cut myself with it either, thankfully.
I use it on myself about once a month, and I do so very, very carefully. I always use it right when I get out of the shower to make sure my feet are nice and soft. I never bother to soak in Epsom salt first though, it just doesn't seem necessary.
The only time I've ever really used a callus shaver is at the nail salon. And I wasn't even the one using it, the nail technician was. I remember the first time I got a pedicure, the technician used a callus shaver to get rid of all my calluses.
After that, I started using a pumice stone at home and getting a pedicure semi-regularly. Now, calluses don't really get a chance to build up on my feet. So the callus shaver isn't really necessary.
I tell you though, I saw such a difference in my feet after the first time I got a pedicure. But it was also done by a professional. I don't think I would use a callus shaver myself at home though!