36a8e0211d53659da183 pedicure problems

12 Things I Learned About At-Home Pedicures From The Emergency Room.

Written By: Jessica Gutierrez

Things went right for a long time before the one time they went REALLY wrong really quickly. I didn’t have time to book an appointment so I decided to do my own “express” pedicure before a trip to Las Vegas. I quickly removed the polish, filed my nails, cleaned up the cuticles and threw a fresh coat of lacquer on them. Bing, bang, boom, BAD. 

I accidentally nicked the cuticle on my big toe. I went to bed thinking my toe was a little tender but it would be fine in the morning. The next morning I woke up and headed to work in shock that one toe could cause so much discomfort. I got home and finally took a look at my tomato-red toe and did what any sensible person would do at this moment - I felt like an idiot, threw some polysporin and a band-aid on it and finished packing for my trip. 

The next morning there was no way to ignore my now throbbing toe. What started as a quick pedicure ended up with a visit to The Emergency Room, multiple SHOTS in my TOE, tears, antibiotics and a now oddly shaped nail polish-less toenail.

Here are a few facts about pedicures - hazards, helpful tips and the unfortunate consequences of a toe infection:

  1. If a stubbed toe hurts an infected toe REALLY hurts. Despite being so small in size, your toe maintains a densely populated area of nerves. More nerves = more sensory overload. 
  2. A needle in a toe, let alone an infected toe, REALLY REALLY hurts. (see point #1)
  3. Everyone has a natural level of bacteria on their body. This is why cuts, especially on the foot, easily risk infection. 
  4. Always soak your feet first. Antiseptic solutions, like Betadine, will help reduce chance of infection by reducing the bacteria on your skin. A little goes a long way so all it takes is a couple of drops in your soaking water. Available here!
  5. Do NOT cut your cuticles. Seriously, just leave them alone. Push them back (not too hard or far) and get to polishing. 
  6. Your pedi-gone-wrong could result in the full or partial removal of your toenail. When your toe is infected and swells, the corner of your nail can begin to push into the skin and if unattended to, could become ingrown. The doctor MAY have to cut your nail back in order to avoid this. 
  7. Prone to ingrown toenails? The shape of your toenail could be to blame! Extremely square nails could be pushing into your skin causing the discomfort and could result in an ingrown nail. Round the corner of your toenails to avoid this. 
  8. You may be advised to keep your toe elevated above your heart in order to reduce swelling. Warning: this may result in your leg falling asleep. After “keeping your foot up” for awhile, stand with caution.
  9. Regular soaking of your toe in warm water and soap is advised to treat the infection.
  10. A RX may be necessary. Depending on the extent of your infection, the doctor may feel antibiotics are required. 
  11. If you think that your toe may be getting infected, go see a doctor. Don’t wait. 
  12. Leave the pedicure to the professionals. Seriously.

Learn from my mistake or you could be heading on your next trip like this: 

Stay tuned for more trials, tribulations and tutorials about nails and the nail art we all love!