By Diane Mapes, health correspondent
What it is: PedEgg; $10; available at www.pedegg.com or at Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Bed Bath & Beyond and other stores.
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What it claims to do: The manufacturer of the PedEgg, Telebrands, calls it the "ultimate foot file" which gently removes calluses and dry skin by using more than 135 stainless steel micro files. The files are attached to one side of a "comfortable, ergonomically designed" plastic egg, which also collects all of the skin shavings in a "convenient storage compartment.
My experience: I live in the city so I'm on my feet a lot, walking at least 10-15 miles a week and sometimes more. By the time summer rolls around, I need to invest in a bit of maintenance to get my little piggies ready for market (not to mention those strappy sandals). But how to go about it?
As much as I enjoy pedicures, they're a little pricey for my pocketbook and spending an hour in the bathroom with an emery board is about as thrilling as sanding a piece of cement. After a long hard winter, in fact, that's essentially what it is. The PedEgg – prudently priced at just $10 – seemed a great solution. I could pamper myself and still toe the budgetary line.
After picking one up, I spent 10 minutes reading through the instructions AND warnings before cracking it open and diabetics and/or those with poor circulation will definitely want to follow suit. Why? Because the PedEgg is basically a cheese grater for your foot. And baby, that sucker works.
I was able to shave a ton of rough winter skin from my heels and the balls of my feet within minutes. The PedEgg worked so well, in fact, that I decided to use it two nights in a row and wound up hot-footing it around town on burning pink heels for the next four days. Be warned: Overzealousness with this gadget is not a good idea. In other words, step lightly.
As for the PedEgg's much-touted ability to collect all the skin shavings in its hollow body thus allowing you to use it "anywhere" (At work? On the bus? On a date? Let's hope not), I'd take that with a grain of salt. If you can manage to keep the metal-side face up, the PedEgg does pretty well at keeping everything contained. But when you turn it upside down (which is something you'll need to do to sand down those stubborn calluses), you will notice a little "foot dandruff" on the floor.
What the expert says: Dr. Howard Dinowitz, a Brooklyn, N.Y., podiatrist, says the first step in taking care of your feet is to visit the foot doctor to make sure you don't have any complications you're not aware of. Once you're cleared, though, "callus removal is a wonderful thing," he says. Simple, over-the-counter remedies like the PedEgg can reduce some of the foot's roughness and dryness in a noninvasive way, he says, but don't overdo it.
"Overzealous usage of any type of product that causes friction can definitely lead to problems with the skin," he says. That's particularly true for "someone who might be a diabetic and has a condition known as neuropathy" (i.e., the lack of peripheral sensation or feeling of the feet). Used in moderation, though, he says the PedEgg is "probably a great thing, especially if you use it in conjunction with a nice hydrating cream."
Bottom line: I have to just say it: The PedEgg swept me off my feet. Sure, the light dusting of "foot powder" that seeps out of its plastic shell is a bit annoying, especially after all the manufacturer's no-fuss, no-muss promises. But the PedEgg's metal filing surface does a great job of shaving off calluses quickly and painlessly (much better than any pedicurist I've ever been to). And it really does have a simple, sleek design. Sort of like your feet once you get them all gussied up.