An Arkansas woman is in the hospital for an infection caused by a pedicure performed in unsanitary conditions.
Stacey Wilson of Benton, Arkansas, contacted KATV News from her hospital bed after having watched a special about unsafe nail salons. After suffering through a painful pedicure that led to an infection that affected her entire lower leg, she wants others in similar situations to know what can be done.
"I didn't know who you went to, who you could go to or anything, so that's [when] we contacted you guys," Wilson told KATV News.
During her pedicure on Feb. 6, Wilson could tell that something had gone wrong.
"It feels like you're sitting too close to a fire and you just cannot get away from it, that's the way it feels," she recalled.
According to Wilson, the salon worker was too rough with the pumice stone and managed to cut part of her foot and toe.
"She knew she had hurt me a little bit," Wilson said.
The following day, her ankle was sore and red. By Monday, Feb. 8, the pain had increased, and by Tuesday, she was unable to stand, the redness had spread, and her fever had risen to 102 degrees.
Physicians at Saline Memorial Hospital, where Wilson also works as a nurse, determined that she was suffering from cellulitis, which is often associated with manicures and pedicures.
Dr. Michael Pafford of Saline Memorial Hospital said that people should speak up to prevent infections during pedicures, and
[recognize that] you have the right to refuse them from continuing if you think they're not using sterile equipment,” he said.
According to KATV, Nail salons should never reuse nail files or pumice stones. Those pieces of equipment must be brand new and then thrown away.
"They have a hard time throwing it away,” said Kelli Kersi, Chief of Cosmetology for the Arkansas Health Department. “It's throwing money away they feel, but still, you can't get around that.”
Footbaths must also be drained, cleaned, rinsed, and filled with disinfectant.
In Arkansas, all salons are visited by an inspector once a year. Starting this year, any violations will be hung on a wall for customers to see.
"The salon owner is definitely not going to want an inspection sheet hanging up there that has violations on it," Kersi said.
Once she leaves the hospital, Wilson plans to file a complaint with the state health department.