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For many years chiropodists have used a drill for removing diseased nails and at times horny tissue from the feet. For some time we also have employed a drill for grinding away diseased nails. To the best of our knowledge, such an instrument is not in general use by dermatologists. It is not expensive and may be equipped with a foot-controlled rheostat for regulating the speed. Steel or emery burrs of various shapes and sizes may be obtained to fit it. Two or three burrs will suffice for dermatologic purposes.
Diseased nails may be ground away much faster than they can be cut away and without causing any pain. Continuous running will cause the burrs to become warm and consequently cause some pain, but occasional short stops will prevent this. Much better application of drugs or physical therapy to the area is accomplished after the diseased nails are ground away
Kile RL, Welsh AL. THE USE OF A DRILL ON DISEASED NAILS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1940;42(6):1123. doi:10.1001/archderm.1940.01490180132012
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