For most people, a manicure or pedicure is a chance to pamper oneself.

But Tracy Lynn Martinez said that after her pedicure at a grade A salon turned into a life threatening ordeal, she’s warning others.

Unfortunately for Martinez, her pedicure in Winston Salem, North Carolina, caused a bacteria infection known as cellulitis. 

The 35-year-old shared her story on Facebook.

Martinez wrote, in part:

I had a pedicure done in Winston Salem in an A grade salon, very clean and very nice people.

The whirlpool baths have the disposable bags, and they bring the new fresh tools in a new bag, but also bring a nice bacteria infected callus cutter too.

WFAA reports that the pedicure was going well until a nail technician cut Martinez’s heel with a callus scraper. 

She told the news station that two small cuts turned into flu-like symptoms the day after her salon visit. 

Tracy Lynn Martinez/Facebook

Finally, after suffering from severe leg pain, chills, and vomiting, the woman called emergency dispatchers.

Doctors diagnosed Martinez with cellulitis, an infection caused by bacteria entering a cut or crack in the skin. She spent two weeks in the hospital.              ,

She told WFAA:

“Every day was a new chapter of what was going to happen to my leg. Was I going to lose my leg? Was I going to lose my life?”

As a result of the infection, the woman will be on medication for the rest of her life. 

Tracy Lynn Martinez/Facebook

Martinez didn’t name the salon that cut her heel back in June because she wants the focus to be on awareness, not on getting someone in trouble.

But according to the North Carolina Board of Cosmetics, the tool is illegal in her state.


This isn’t the first time someone has developed cellulitis from a pedicure. In 2016, an Arkansas woman contracted cellulitis after she was nicked by a pumice stone during her pedicure. Following her diagnosis Dr. Michael Pafford explained that infections are common when the tools being used are not sterile. 

In her Facebook post, Martinez pointed out that it’s difficult to disinfect callus shavers, which is likely why they are illegal in North Carolina:  

They are not permitted in NC salons, finding this out after the fact. There is no way to properly disinfect this tool to continually on people. I no longer recommend pedicures but definitely say NO to these callus shavers if you do go!!! 

Mayo Clinic recommends taking precautions when getting pedicures. These include:

Stick to salons that display a current state license, and work only with technicians also licensed by the state board. Don’t have your cuticles removed — they act to seal the skin to the nail plate, so removal can lead to nail infection. Also, make sure your nail technician properly sterilizes all tools used during your procedure to prevent the spread of infection.

Martinez hopes that by sharing her story she will save someone else from having to go through her ordeal.

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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