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Hope this will help others...
This is a cross post from another website and my blog journal:

The last 3 months, I've been dealing with a chemical burn on the fingers I use when I do nails (thumb, forefinger and middle finger). It was caused by using a brush with a wood handle that wasn't coated with a protective coating to prevent an overexposure accident. I got it at Sally's. I LOVE the brush but over time, I was getting mega doses of liquid because it was being absorbed up the ferrule into the handle. I didn't realize it was happening till it was too late. I've had some cracking, open areas for a long time and just haven't been able to get this healed. I've been to the doctor once and was given some topical steroid. It's been painful and annoying but I've worked thru all of it because when you own a business, you have to. I have no sick days.

So, this is my blog entry for what happened these last few days:

Quote:"Well, I'm home and pretty tired out but soooooooo glad I still have all the parts of my right hand,

Wednesday, my right hand was hurting so much more than it had in the past weeks so I called the Dermatoligist thinking it would be at least a month til I could see him. I decided that it was worth the wait since this has gone on so so so long. In sharp contrast to what happened the last time I called, once I told his receptionist what was going on, she asked if I could come into the office immediately and he could see me that day.

Well, I rescheduled the few appointments I had and flew on down to his office. He looked at my fingers and SURPRISE! told me that this had been treated wrong all along! I had a fungal infection in the tissues of my fingers and the ony way it would get better is with an anti-fungal medication. Which he prescribed, and I had filled then started to treat my hand. Apparently, because I had the chemical burn, I put on a nitrile glove to do all my procedures. Even with the white cotton glove under, that makes for a warm, moist environment-perfect for a yeast infection to take hold!

At this point, the oinly thing that was affected was still my thumb, forefinger and middle finger.

On Wednesday night, when I went to bed, the rest of my hand started itching a bit. Not terrible but I thought, oh boy, now I'm having a reaction to the medication. I put some hydrocortisone on my hand and went to bed. Thruout the night I kept waking up with some major itching all over my hand and some pain down by the side of my wrist. I didn't really look at it till the morning when I saw my hand was really swollen and there was s small reddish-bluish sort of "stain" looking thing by the painful part on my wrist. Now, I'm going *poo-poo*! WHAT NOW?????

So, I went into the salon because I had a 10:00 pedi. My plan was to call the doc at 9ish, do the pedi then hopefully he'd want to see me or else prescribe something else. By the time I got to the salon at 9, my hand was so swollen, I couldn't close it or hold anythng. I still did the pedi which was ok because once I got my hand moving, I did alright. But when I took off my glove and looked at my hand, the reddish bluish part had increased in size in that hour. It was running all up the side of my hand into my little finger and across the back of my hand. Also, there were blisters all thru the discolored part and across the back of my hand. AND IT ITCHED LIKE CRAZY!!! The doc had been called and the nurse said he would probably want to see me-could I get there by 2pm? Sigh. Rescheduling more clients, I left about 1 and got there at 1:45.

This is where it gets interesting...

As soon as I walked into the room and the nurse saw my hand, she immediately got the doctor out of a room with another patient to come look at me. By this time, I'm feeling a bit nervous. The doctor went "Hmmm..." and left to go find ANOTHER doctor, who looked at my hand and went "HMMMMMMMM!!!!" My doc said to his nurse, "Could you get the camera, please?" and promptly started taking pictures. From behind the camera, he said to the nurse to call the surgeon for a consult.

The other doctor started to gently tell me he thought this was Necrotizing Fasciitus: (flesh eating disease)
and not to get to worried because since I wasn't showing other signs of the infection, the prognosis was good but GET YOUR *rear end* DOWN TO THE HOSPITAL!!!

Which I did...

...where everyone took one look at my hand, got all excited, immediately admitted me and were getting me set for surgery to remove the infected tissue and possibly be on the ready to


I'm thinking to my self, what in the hell is happening here? I'm all alone, my cell phone just died and I had nothing with me to be admitted to the hospital! My last text was to Dave (husband) telling him I was being admitted to room 306 and that I'd contact him as best I could from the room phone.

This was all happening too fast!

(Remember, the closest hospital, other than the one where I worked, is an hour away. The Tomah Hospital couldn't have handled this. I would have been transferred.)

Luckily and I do mean LUCKILY! an infectous disease specialist (this made 5 doctors total who looked at my hand) was called in for a last minute consult and he took one look at my hand and at me and said it was NO WAY a flesh eating bacteria and the best course of action was to give IV antibiotics and watch what happened in 8 hours. Which we did. Heidi (business partner) just happened to be in La Crosse, got one of my texts and amazingly showed up at exactly the right time to listen to all the docs, call Dave on her cell and tell him what was happening. He didn't need to come down to be with me. He had a cold anyway and I didn't want him to infect others.

So, it stopped growing at 8 hours and by 12 hours I saw a marked improvement. All thru the day yesterday, I watched the swelling go down, the red, blistery area recede and the pain went away. Another Infectious Disease Specialist (total of 6 doctors now-people were stopping by the whole time I was there), said this was a cellultis and gave me the best scenario of what happened. Apparently, because my fingers were so cracked and open, I must have picked up a staph or strep bacteria, it traveled down the lymphatic system and settled in my right wrist. That's where it all started and that's why there was no indication of any infection in the actual wound area of my fingers. If it entered my blood stream, this event would have a very different ending. Wow....

The reddish bluish part is still there and will take about a month to go away..

Now, I'm home and I need a shower. My fingers are still sore and cracked but I'm using the anit-fungal med like crazy. The doc says I should see some improvement by Monday. I have to follow up with two of the doctors next week."

So here I am. Will be back working on Tuesday.

Make sure your brushes are coated so the acrylic liquid doesn't give you and overexposure reaction! I had no idea! I even had no idea you could get a fungal infection in the tissues! This has been a horrible nightmare for the last 3 months. I can't wait till it's over.

I hope this will help others.

OMG Sharon! I was almost crying reading this! I can't even begin to imagine how scared you were! I'm so glad to read that your outcome is promising and that you are on the road to recovery! I think it's fantastic for you to post this here in hopes of preventing this from happening to anyone else.

Do take care of you!
TEN Poly Gel Educator
[email protected]
Always eager to learn, and love staying current!
"Why put off to tomorrow what you can do today?"
OMG!! I am so happy that it wasn't as bad as they first thought and you still have your hand!! How do know if the brushes are coated?? I use a wooden handled TT brush. Should I be concerned?
Kelley-Newbie nail tech
How scary! I am so sorry you have gone through what you have and I hope you heal quickly. Thanks for posting this information.
Nicole Hollenbeck
Akzentz Educator
OMG!! How terrifying that must've been for you! So sorry you had to go thru that, and I'm glad you are on the road to recovery! Thanks too for the warning!
Loving mommy and Nail Technician
OMG Sharon! What a terrifying ordeal! I am so happy to hear that you have turned the corner and recovering.
It is so thoughtful of you to share your experience with everyone in hopes of preventing anyone else from going through the same, scary scenario.
Light Elegance Educator
Wow OMG I can only imagine the terror and confusion you were going through that whole time! Thanks for posting this and giving us the heads-up!
Thank God you are ok. I am very allergic to a disinfectant called gluteraldihyde. My husband used it alll the time in the dental office. I knew that it made my hands break out really bad, but we never thought about the fact that he used it to disinfect temp. crowns in the lab. So he did this crown prep on me, cemented the temp. crown and off I went. Woke up in the middle of the night with half of my face twice it's norm. size. My tongue didn't even fit in my mouth, and the inside of my mouth was itching. Then it dawned on us what was going on. A trip to the ER and some meds. and removing the temp and I was better in a few hours. Isn't it amazing how our bodies respond? Overexposure is no joke, and nothing to mess with. I am glad you are ok. Feel better, sister.

Remember: God puts us where he wants us to be.
Amazing and shocking story! Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad you got it figured out!
Oh my! Thanks for sharing and warning us all! I hope you have a speedy recovery!
Nail Tech/Owner
Thank GOd you are getting better and they found out the problem.I wish you a speedy recovery and THanks for sharing
I am so glad that you are okay. Thank you for sharing your story, I have bought a couple of those brushes from Sally's and love them. I'm getting rid of them right now, I'll use a different one. Take it easy and get better.
Get Nailed at JB Salon & Day Spa
thanks for sharing. Glad you are on the mend and will heed the warning and tell my nailtech friends to be cautious.
Sooooooo good to know you are on the mend and that you got this figured out. And how terrific of you to share on the Board preventing others from experiencing this issue. Just goes to show that overexposure to the monomer can be detrimental to our and client's health, as is with anything.
Im so sorry this happened to you. Confusedhock: Sad .
Keep up with all the stuff the docs are telling you. You and your hand will come out all healed up. Thank you for posting, wow through the brush handle...
[Image: smileytransport018vj1.gif]
I plan on coating all my wooden handled brushes gel after reading this... Confusedhock:
I know exactly how you feel! About a month ago I had the same thing in my right leg. Started out as a small spot and within a matter of hours the entire back of my calf was blood red with a dark purple almost black spot. Turns out I had cellulitis in my leg. Ended up in the ER with IV antibiotics. As I was reading your blog I was thinking it didn't sound like flesh eating were describing my right leg exactly. Of course mine wasn't from overexposure to product. Scary nonetheless. I'm so glad you are feeling better!!! That is such a painful thing to go through. Cellulitis is nothing to mess with, but at least you didn't have to have surgery. Thank you for posting your story. I'm sure you have saved many nail techs from having the same problem.
OMG! What a horrible/scary situation to go through. I am so glad it wasn't flesh eating bact. and that there was a Dr. who new what he was looking at. I will definitely share this story with the students and instructor in my class. Thank you for sharing your ordeal with us.
thank you for taking the time out to share with us wish you much better Smile
OMG, I've had a somewhat similar experience! About two months ago I started to get itchy on my hands every time I did gels. Keep in mind I use brushes from Micheal's craft store. I like the quality, but I doubt they have a protective coating on the handle. Well, I would try my best not to scratch but as I got sleepy in bed I would scratch the heck out of it. I would wake up the next morning and have blisters all over my right hand fingers- mostly my thumb, index, and middle fingers. I had a little bit of irritation on my left hand as well. My fingers got swollen, were red, and it just looked horrible! I went to an urgent care clinic and was prescribed an anti-fungal cream, a steroidal cream, and oral anti-biotics. The doctor actually recommended I take a little steroidal cream and anti-fungal cream and blend it with some Eucerin and then apply. I finished up the anti-biotics about a week ago. I still have some peeling skin but it is sooo much better. Over-exposure is no joke, I agree! I tried cleaning off my brushes and wearing latex gloves and that actually didn't seem to help that much. I would still get a little itchy after using my gel brushes and gel. My mother was concerned about me and bought me an array of gloves- some for cleaning at home, some for at work (I love that woman)- and the only thing I find helpful when doing gels is wearing a vinyl glove with a latex one over it on my right hand, then I wear a latex on my left. My fingers are still a little sore and hurt when I like hold something or write with a pen. The skin on my affected fingertips is brittle and is cut easily. But oh my gosh, does it look better...

Sharon, I'm looking forward to more posts from you on this topic to know how you are healing! I hope you ( and I) get better soon!
kjs1980 :
> OMG!! I am so happy that it wasn't as bad as they first thought and you still
> have your hand!! How do know if the brushes are coated?? I use a wooden handled
> TT brush. Should I be concerned?
If I remember correctly, the TT web store says they are coated against acrylic, however, you can always gel coat them or wrap the handle. I only use TT brushes and I've never had a problem with them causing me irritation. Smile

Harmonysky, best wishes for a fast recovery
I'm so glad you didn't have to go through surgery. Heal up fast!! I'm going to share this with the girls at school on Tuesday and I am going to wear gloves from now on. I always wear them when I do pedicures but never manicures.

Get better soon!
Thanks for sharing this!, I am runing right now to see if my brushes have a good protection, I also have a TT brush that is wood handle and I don't see any kind of coat on it, I better cover it with something :?
I've grown to like a random TT brush that was just lying around our nail station one day. I covered in in glitter acrylic one day and i'm planning to put some sort of sealer on it once I shape it up. Hopefully that will help out...

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