Pedicure Safety

Jenney's Story

Jenney Howell

"The day was June 22, 2010.  I had been teaching bible school and wanted to get ready for my 44th wedding Anniversary.  I decided to get a manicure and pedicure to go out and celebrate the special occasion.  After my pedicure, my life changed forever. I went up to the front desk of the nail salon and signed in to receive my services.  The lady on the nail side was doing a customer’s nails.  I picked out my nail color and she pointed to the black pedicure chair.  I went to the pedicure chair and sat down.  Another nail salon employee came out of the back and pointed to a sign on the wall that said, “Helen.”  The employee could not understand or speak English. I took off my shoes, and nail salon employee filled the foot bowl.  She then put in some blue powder in the foot bowl.  The employee pointed for me to put my feet in the foot bowl, so I did.  The salon employee then washed my feet off in the blue liquid substance and pointed for me to put my feet up on the towel that was on the edge of the sink.  The salon employee then put some kind of white gel that was in an unmarked bottle all over the sides and bottom of both my feet.  The salon employee then pointed to my fingernails, indicating she was ready to do my manicure.  She did my manicure while I sat in the pedicure chair with the gel on my feet.  She could not get the nail color I had picked out opened, so she went and picked out another color.  She then removed my old nail color from both my hands and continued the manicure.    She then began to paint my nails, but I did not like the color she picked out, so I shook my head, “No.”  She took off the nail color and went to get a different color.  Before finishing my nails, her cell phone rang and she talked while I continued to sit in the pedicure chair with the gel still on my feet.  When she finished with her call, she returned to me and put a top coat on my fingernails.  My feet were stinging, and I pointed to my feet, indicating there was a problem.  I touched my feet trying to communicate the pain to her. When I did put my hand on my feet, it got on my right finger and some dropped on my left arm.  She quickly took a dry towel and wiped off my arm, and she shook her head, “No,” several times. She then pointed to put my feet in the blue liquid in the foot bowl, and they were still stinging.  She used a sponge to wipe my feet off, and then put them back on the same towel (which still had gel on it).  She continued with my pedicure while my feet sat on the same towel.  My feet were red and starting to burn, and I was not sure what was happening.  She finished my pedicure, I put on my shoes, and left the nail salon with my feet burning more and more.

"Later, my husband and I returned to pick up a copy of the label from the chemical used on my feet. I found that the label directed to only leave the callous remover on the skin for 45 seconds. It was actually left on my feet for 35 minutes or more.  I have now gone to 5 doctors trying to get some relief from the pain I experience on a daily basis.  I have had to have major surgery to have a spinal stimulator implanted into my back Wires are attached to metal screws in my spine, and I have a battery pack implanted in my back side that I have to recharge every two weeks.  I have a remote control to control how much stimulation goes to my feet to control pain levels.  I feel like a robot and still have immense pain that I deal with every single day.  This stimulator does not take away the pain completely. The stimulator in my back will have to be replaced through surgery every 5 years or so. This will be something I deal with every single day for the rest of my life.

"I publicly share my story in hopes of raising awareness to the dangers of unregulated nail salons to help others. Please take the time to educate yourself on pedicure safety precautions."
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