A new mum almost lost part of her finger after being cut by a nail technician's 'dirty' equipment.
Brittany Guyatt says she nearly had to have a section of her finger amputated after the cut left her with a horrendous growth that smelled and left her unable to breastfeed.
The 20-year-old claims she was cut by the 'rough' technician while getting acrylic nails fitted ahead of giving birth to her daughter Harper last month.
Over a period of days, a bruise developed into what at first looked like a blood blister but grew 'bigger and bigger' – and shortly after giving birth, Brittany was in unbearable pain.
The restaurant manager was left unable to breastfeed for fear of infecting her new baby as the growth extended off her finger by more than a centimetre and 'filled with smelly pus'.
As the nodule of tissue or granuloma turned black, Brittany was told she needed surgery or faced losing part of her finger.
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.
After sharing her ordeal on social media, her warning racked up more than 21,000 likes, comments and shares from worried Facebook users horrified by the images of the growth.
Brittany, from Swindon, Wiltshire, 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.
"At first it looked like a little bruise, but eventually it started getting bigger and going red.
"It was a pinch at first, then it started to become a lump a bit like a blood blister.
"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."
Brittany and her sister had decided to get their nails done as a pre-birth pick-me-up when she claims a 'rough' nail technician cut her with an electric file.
Shortly after the injury, the granuloma grew bigger and bigger and Brittany visited the doctors where she was prescribed steroid cream – causing her to stop breastfeeding.
She also soaked it in salt water and covered it in plasters to stop it catching on things, and after Harper arrived, she worried about passing on an infection.
Brittany said: "I'd been on maternity leave and thought I'd make myself feel a bit better.
"I went to a nail salon 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.
"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.
Then on Wednesday, she underwent an operation where it was was cut out – after doctors feared they would have to remove part of her finger.
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'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."
Brittany is now hoping by sharing her story she'll encourage more people to take care when choosing a nail technician.
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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