U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention - Leading the effort to treat and prevent diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives


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Callus Debridement

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NOTE: Access to this information is not restricted; however, the information found here is intended for use by medical providers. Some videos contain graphic images. Patients should talk with their medical providers about any specific concerns.

Equipment:

  • #15 disposable scalpel blade
  • Forceps
  • Good lighting
  • Comfortable place for patient to put their feet up
  • Comfortable seat for the provider
  • Non-sterile gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • 2 X 2 and 4 X 4 gauze bandages
  • Kerlix
  • Saline
  • Tape

Procedure:

  • Stabilize the foot with one hand.
  • With the other hand, use scalpel blade with short strokes to gradually take off little pieces of the callus with a shaving motion.
  • Start in the center and move to the periphery.
  • Palpitate intermittently to determine the depth of the callus and where the healthy skin is.
  • Use an alcohol wipe to help demarcate the normal tissue from the callus tissue.
  • Grasp the scalpel handle close to the blade for optimal control.
  • As you continue, the callus becomes softer and easier to debride, with a pinkish color.
  • Start working on the edges of the callus, being mindful of the healthy tissue.
  • Center of the callus may be mushy.
  • Process can take up to 5 minutes.
  • Calluses do reoccur; see patients monthly for additional debridement.
  • Instruct patient to wear appropriate footwear to reduce friction; can reduce the rate of growth of the callus.
Overview How To Other Resources

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: (505) 248-4182 | Fax: (505) 248-4188 | diabetesprogram@ihs.gov