You can get an infection from a pedicure if the salon does not correctly sterilize its tools and equipment. Bacterial, fungal, and viral infections from pedicures can lead to pain, discomfort, and scarring. Medical treatment for skin and nail infections from a pedicure can be time-consuming, stressful, and costly.
If you suffered from an infection because of poor salon or spa cleaning procedures, you could seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
What Leads to Foot and Toe Infections From a Pedicure?
When pedicurists and salon technicians fail to use appropriate care, a relaxing pedicure can lead to foot and toe infections that can be painful, embarrassing, and sometimes dangerous. Conditions that lead to infections from pedicures include:
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Poor Sterilization Procedures
A major cause of foot and toe infections is poor sterilization of pedicure tools and equipment. The salon or spa should have cleaning and disinfection procedures in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in place that are consistent with federal and state guidelines.
Many salons use autoclaves or soak reusable tools in disinfectant to avoid contamination. It is important that the salon employees use EPA-approved disinfecting cleaners and follow all disinfecting instructions in full.
Reusing Single-Use Tools
Certain pedicure tools should not be reused. When a salon or pedicurist tries to save time or money by reusing tools they should discard, you can incur an infection as a result. Examples of single-use tools for pedicures include:
- Slippers or flip-flops
- Nail files
- Emory boards
- Pumice stones
- Wooden cuticle sticks
- Toe separators
- Buffing disks and sandpaper
- Waxing spatulas
Single-use tools should be discarded after each use, and new ones should be used with every client.
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Cutting Toenails Too Short
If a pedicurist cuts your toenails too short, it can create tears or cuts that allow bacteria, viruses, or fungus to bypass the skin’s protective barrier. This can lead to serious and painful toe infections that require medical treatment.
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Creating Cuts and Scrapes
Pumice stones, callous scrapers, and other tools can create cuts, scrapes, and invisible microtears in the skin. Anything that compromises the skin’s protective barrier can lead to dangerous infections on the feet and toes.
Improperly Drying Feet
Fungal spores, bacteria, and viruses often thrive in moist conditions. If a pedicurist fails to fully dry your feet, especially between the toes, it can allow microorganisms to flourish, resulting in an uncomfortable infection.
What Types of Infections Could a Pedicure Cause?
When pedicurists fail to use appropriate treatments, tools, and cleaning procedures, the client can suffer from numerous types of infections.
According to the EPA, bacterial infections from foot spas sometimes come from Mycobacterium fortuitum. However, poorly cleaned foot spas and pedicure tools can also lead to infection from Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus, and other dangerous bacteria. In severe cases, patients may suffer from life-threatening antibiotic-resistant infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Viruses can be spread through contaminated surfaces, dirty foot baths, and poorly disinfected pedicure tools. Customers can catch everyday viruses like the cold or flu, or they may catch warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Blood contamination occurs on sharp tools and can even spread hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and other dangerous viruses.
Fungal infections arise when fungal spores such as Candida albicans take root in the cracks and crevices of the toes, feet, and nails. While many infections resolve on their own, clients with diabetes or compromised immune systems can suffer from chronic infections that require extensive medical treatment.
Signs of an Infection From a Pedicure
Foot and toe infections do not always present symptoms immediately after a pedicure. Microorganisms may take days or weeks to become established. Signs you may have an infection from a pedicure include:
- Redness or rash on toes, feet, or lower legs
- Pain and tenderness
- Puss, abscesses, or blisters
If your symptoms do not resolve or grow worse, see a medical care provider as soon as possible. Untreated infections can lead to serious, life-threatening complications.
Treatment for Foot or Toe Infections Caused by a Pedicure
Treatment for an infection from a pedicure differs depending on the microorganism causing the infection. Antibiotics may be used to treat a bacterial infection, while antifungals may apply to a fungal infection. Other treatments may include:
- Oral medication
- Creams or salves
- Frequent cleaning and soaking
- Surgical procedures to drain the infection
Specialized treatment may be required for extreme infections such as cellulitis, sepsis, hepatitis B or C, or HIV.
What Are the Legal Options For an Infection From a Pedicure?
Salons are required to meet safety and health guidelines established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the EPA, and state and local laws. If they fail to meet these obligations, the salon can be liable for any injuries their clients suffer as a result.
If you experienced a toe or foot infection because of a salon’s careless or reckless disregard for client safety, you could pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Damages you could pursue include:
- Medication, such as antibiotics and antifungals
- Surgical treatment
- Lost income due to your pedicure infection
- Physical pain and suffering
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Emotional distress
If your infection resulted in long-term illness or injury, you could also seek compensation for assistive devices, loss of income potential, and disability. A personal injury attorney with experience handling salon injury cases can help you understand your legal rights.
Discuss Your Pedicure Concerns With a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Even a minor pedicure infection can cause pain and hardship. You may find it difficult to walk, drive, or work. Lost income and medical bills can create significant financial challenges. If your infection is the result of botched pedicure procedures, you should not have to pay for these losses.
The compassionate personal injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can provide a free case review and help you explore your legal options. Contact us today to schedule your free legal consultation.
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