Brittany Guyatt, of Swindon, said that she had treated herself with a trip to a nail salon that she was familiar with late in her pregnancy to make herself “feel a bit better,” but what transpired lead to a weeks-long ordeal and eventual surgery.
Guyatt claims that the nail technician caught her skin with the nail filer while shaping her acrylics, and that while it initially burned, she didn’t think much of it, Metro.co.uk reported. By the end of the week, Guyatt knew she was in trouble.
“Within a few days it was a little bruise and blood blister, then over time it got bigger and bigger,” she told the news outlet.
Guyatt said that it began changing in color, and when her skin started peeling off she went to the doctor to seek help.
“Then it went black and dried up,” she told the news outlet. “It could have been anything – even cancer. When I showed the doctor, she’d never seen anything like it before.”
Guyatt claims that she was prescribed a steroid cream. But when she gave birth to her daughter, she began to fear that the infection — which still hadn't cleared — would harm the newborn.
“When I went into labor with Harper it was fine because I’d covered it with a plaster, but when I got home it started getting bigger and bigger,” she told Metro.co.uk. “I was concerned about it getting infected and harming the baby.”
Guyatt claims that on her second trip to the doctor, the growth had filled with a smelly pus, and she was given an X-ray to ensure the growth hadn’t attached to her bone. She was warned about potential amputation, but they were able to cut away the growth and save her finger.
“The doctor said it could have been the tools the salon had used,” she told Metro.co.uk. “They could have been dirty. I just want other girls to make sure they see the technicians sterilize the equipment. I’d never seen them wipe them before. Make sure you go somewhere you trust.”
Artificial nails are a very common practice. Acrylic nails require filing natural nails until they are rough in order to get the artificial nail to stick. Doing so thins the natural nail and makes it weaker, and the chemicals used to apply the product can affect the skin around the nail and elsewhere, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
The AAD recommends asking nail technicians to skip cuticle trimming or cutting, as it protects the nail and surrounding skin from infection. Trimming the cuticle makes it easier for bacteria and other germs to get inside the body and cause infection, which can take a long time to clear.
“You see these things and never think it’ll happen to you,” Guyatt told Metro.co.uk. “I’ll never have my nails done again – it’s not worth it. I’d rather buy stick-on ones.”