Monday, February 25, 2008
Medical Reports: Nail Nightmare
They've gone to get pampered with pedicures and ended up with a new infection that only antibiotics can cure. If you've ever had your nails done, it's a story you have to see.
WSVN -- We all have at least one favorite body part. For Elda, it's definitely her feet.
Elda : "I love my feet. I think that's the first thing people look at."
She loves them so much, every week she gets a nice, long soak in a warm bubbly bath and then a good pedicure.
Elda: "I enjoy them. It's time for myself."
But all that changed after a recent visit to a nail salon.
Elda: "I went, had a spa pedicure, the next thing you know, a day or two later, I found an abscess on my foot."
At first, it looked like a simple bug bite.
Elda: "It was one big pimple, with two smaller ones that followed right behind it."
When her foot became red, swollen and painful, Elda soon realized it was something much worse.
Elda: "I was really upset. I was absolutely grossed out."
Leora Misdraji felt that same panic when she noticed a similar abcess on her left toe. It popped up just days after she got a pedicure at a different salon.
Leora Misdraji: "I noticed it was swollen, it was oozing pus, and it was very ugly looking."
She rushed right to the emergency room.
Leora Misdraji: "An open wound. Something on your body that you haven't seen before, so I got very scared."
Both women would get the same frightening news. Their feet were infected with a new form of a Mycobacteria, and doctors say it's quickly spreading through South Florida nail salons.
Dr. Abraham Wagner of South Miami Hospital, Podiatrist: "Anywhere from 20 to 30 patients in the last several weeks. This is something that we're seeing more and more every day. It is very serious."
Lynn Martinez: "The bug lurks in pedicure baths that aren't properly disinfected. It can also latch on to nail tools that aren't sterilized. All it takes is a simple cut or nick at the salon for the bug to get under your skin."
Dr. Abraham Wagner: "Unfortunately, if you get a nick or shave the night before, you might end up opening up a small area in your skin that will allow the bug to get inside the skin and inoculate itself."
The infection looks like one big boil with other little bumps around it. Doctors have to drain the abscess, but only strong antibiotics will totally get rid of it.
Leora Misdraji: "It was a big nightmare. I had to take time, money. It makes you feel used, that your money was used."
To protect yourself, you should bring your own nail kit to the salon and stay away from pedicure baths. All Florida salons are now required to keep a log detailing the cleaning procedures for pedicure baths. They should be disinfected after each client.
Marie Navarro: "I would very much suggest that every client that walks into a salon, they ask for a log. It shows them that every sink is being properly maintained and disinfected."
Leora invested in her own nail tools, but Elda is totally done with salons. She now gives herself pedicures and has this advice to others:
Elda: "To be careful, and to take their own instruments and to ask questions. Something I didn't do."
And it could save you from enduring a Nail Nightmare.
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Wagner has seen so many people with this infection that he has started selling medical-grade nail tools to his patients. He will also sterilize them for free after each visit to a nail salon."