I almost lost my finger after cut from beautician's 'dirty' tool left me with vile growth

FOR pregnant Brittany Guyatt, a trip to the nail salon was supposed to be a relaxing treat ahead of the birth of her first child.

But the 20-year-old was left horrified when a vile growth began developing on the end of her finger – and docs said she could need it amputated.

Brittany, from Swindon, Wiltshire, claims she was cut by a "rough" technician while getting acrylic nails done last month.

She said that she noticed what she thought was a blood blister, which started to grow "bigger and bigger" until it was hanging off her finger by more than a centimetre.

It had also filled with "smelly pus" and by the time she gave birth to daughter Harper she was in agony.

'It got bigger and bigger'

The restaurant manager said she was left unable to breastfeed her newborn over fears she might infect her.

But it was when the growth, known as a granuloma, turned black that Brittany was told she would need surgery or face losing part of her finger.

Brittany underwent an operation to have it removed this week and is now warning others of the dangers of having fake nails.

She said: "I'd been on maternity leave and thought I'd make myself feel a bit better.

"I went to a nail salon in Swindon town centre as I'd been there before and never had a problem.

"When the man was shaping the acrylics, I felt him pinch me with the nail filer.

"He was quite rough and when he caught my finger, it started tingling and burning. Nothing came up until a few hours later though.

"I didn't say anything at the time because they can be a bit rough anyway and they've caught my skin a few times in the past.

"But I did say to my sister when I walked out 'ouch, he caught my hand quite sharp that time'.

"Within a few days it was a little bruise and blood blister, then over time it got bigger and bigger. I didn't think much of it and presumed it was a little wart that might fall off.

"As it grew, it had a white, waxy look and my skin started peeling off.

"Then it went black and dried up. It could have been anything – even cancer.

"When I showed the doctor, she'd never seen anything like it before."

What is a granuloma?

A granuloma is a small area of inflammation. Granulomas are often found incidentally on an X-ray or other imaging test done for a different reason. Typically, granulomas are noncancerous (benign).

Granulomas frequently occur in the lungs, but can occur in other parts of the body and head as well.

Granulomas seem to be a defensive mechanism that triggers the body to "wall off" foreign invaders such as bacteria or fungi to keep them from spreading.

Common causes include an inflammatory condition called sarcoidosis and infections such as histoplasmosis or tuberculosis.

Granulomas in people without symptoms almost never require treatment or even follow-up imaging tests.

Source: Dr James Stecklerg, Mayo Clinic

She added: "When I went into labour with Harper it was fine because I'd covered it with a plaster, but when I got home it started getting bigger and bigger.

"I was concerned about it getting infected and harming the baby."

After two trips to the walk-in centre at Great Western Hospital, Swindon, Brittany was given blood tests and an X-ray to make sure the granuloma hadn't fused to her bone.

She had an operation on Wednesday where it was was cut out – after doctors feared they would have to remove part of her finger.

'I couldn't breastfeed'

Brittany said: "I went to the walk-in centre as it had started to smell and fill with pus.

"They gave me some steroid cream for it, which meant I had to stop breastfeeding my baby, and it didn't get any better.

"I'm really disheartened by that because I was really enjoying breastfeeding and felt we had a great connection.

"Then I was told it would only continue to grow because there are blood vessels in it, so the only way to fix it was to scrape and burn it off.

"I had blood tests taken and X-rays to check it hadn't attached to the bone, then on Wednesday I went in for the procedure.

"They were worried about how low it would go down into my finger.

"They had a look, took a biopsy and cut it out to remove it. It was very painful but now it's off.

"It was much bigger than I thought when they showed it me in the solution before sending it off for further tests.

"The nurse needs to have a look next week at my stitches and I have to keep it out of water when I'm in the shower.

I'll never have my nails done again – it's not worth it. I'd rather buy stick-on ones

"I've had to get help changing Harper's nappy too because of the bandages.

"I'm now in a lot of pain and my finger is throbbing."

The first time mum has vowed never to have acrylic nails done again and is now warning others to make sure the equipment used on them is sterilised properly.

She said: "You see these things and never think it'll happen to you.

"I'll never have my nails done again – it's not worth it. I'd rather buy stick-on ones."

Brittany is now hoping by sharing her story she'll encourage more people to take care when choosing a nail technician.



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Brittany said: "The doctor said it could have been the tools the salon had used. They could have been dirty.

"I just want other girls to make sure they see the technicians sterilise the equipment. I'd never seen them wipe them before.

"Make sure you go somewhere you trust."

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