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Aussie TV reporter's warning after manicure lands her in hospital

Aussie TV reporter's warning after manicure lands her in hospital

An Australian television reporter has called for higher hygiene standards in the beauty standard after allegedly getting a serious infection from a manicure.

A Current Affair reporter Alex Bernhardt said she had to be hospitalised after an ordinary nail salon manicure left her with a severe arm inflammation.

According to 9News, Bernhardt was interviewing Wentworth MP Professor Kerryn Phelps when the former president of the Australian Medical Association pointed out her arm bruising.

Phelps diagnosed it as olecranon bursitis, an inflammation due to an infection commonly resulting from bacteria.

“You had quite a severe, what we call a septic bursitis in your elbow,” said qualified doctor Phelps. “We don't see those very often, but when they are seen they need to be treated as a matter of urgency.”

Bernhardt said she spent three days in hospital for the treatment. 

“At one stage, doctors warned they may need to operate,” said Bernhardt.

“No-one is suggesting nail salons can match the same sterilisation levels of a major hospital, but there’s certainly a growing demand for higher levels of hygiene in the industry.”

The salon in question has denied that Bernhardt’s infection had anything to do with the manicure, with the owner claiming her premises were clean and Bernhardt was “making up a story”.

Phelps said infections could still occur even when the highest standards are applied. However, Bernhardt said there are ways to reduce the risk of contracting infections at beauty salons.

“You can ask questions, you can see if there's autoclave, you can ask what the sterilising procedures are, you can ask about the training with the technicians,” she said.

“In the end you're really reliant on those procedures being conducted on a routine and regular basis and not having anything slip through the cracks.”

Cases of infections from alleged beauty treatments are common in Australia despite the requirement for beauticians to earn qualifications.

According to Dr Natasha Cook of Darlinghurst Dermatology, nail treatments in general can be damaging.

“Manicures over-traumatise the cuticles and also cut them off,” Cook told The New Daily.

“This leads to infection and inflammation of the nail fold area and skin that can last for months, resulting in redness, tenderness and your nails grow irregularly and poorly.”

If the nails have been damaged, Cook advised to give them a break from any cosmetic procedure, including reapplications. 

“If tender or red around the cuticle and nail fold, seek medical help for treatment of potential infection. This may require oral antibiotics and specialised ointments for long periods.”

Have you ever suffered a nail infection from a beauty salon? Tell us in the comments below.