North Carolina Woman Almost Loses Her Leg After Nightmare Pedicure

A doctor in an emergency room in Frankfurt, Germany on May 25, 2018. A North Carolina woman almost lost her leg to a bacterial infection that she contracted at a nail salon. Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance via Getty Images

A North Carolina woman went for a pedicure on Sunday that left her with a dangerous foot infection and a trip to the emergency room.

According to a Facebook post that the woman, Tracy Lynn Martinez, 35, wrote, she went to what she thought was a clean nail salon in the city of Winston Salem over the weekend. She didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, until she left the salon and started to get the chills, then came nausea and vomiting. She thought she'd sleep it off, but woke up the next morning with a swollen and inflamed leg. After an ambulance ride to the emergency room, she learned that she had contracted a bacterial cellulitis infection from a callus cutter, an instrument that state health agencies often prohibit because they are unhygienic. Martinez said she shared her experience on Facebook as a public service announcement, so that others would know to beware of nail salons that use these instruments.

"I just wanted to share my story to save someone from going what I'm going through or even death," she wrote.

Microscopic bacteria. A woman in North Carolina contracted a dangerous skin infection from a nail salon on Sunday. BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Photos that she shared on social media show her heel, the skin peeling and discolored where the pedicurist used a scraper to smooth the callus.

Other photos show that that the infection, caused by strep bacteria, has climbed up her leg, almost reaching her knee. The pictures, which appear like they were taken in a hospital bed, show that the skin is red and the area is swollen.

Images from the ordeal have since been pulled from Facebook, but a local CBS affiliate, WNCN-TV published them online.

A cellulitis infection occurs when bacteria enter the skin through a cut or a sore, typically causing the area to become warm to the touch and red. If antibiotics are administered quickly, there should be no lasting health effects, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest biomedical library.

Estimates from NLM show that between two and 250 out of 10,000 people are affected each year. Those with diabetes and weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of more serious infections.

Martinez did not share the name of the nail salon where she contracted the infection.

She said the infection left her walking off balance, disorientated and weak.

"I am toxic and have a serious case of cellulitis caused by a strep infection in my bloodstream caused by the scrapes on the outside of my heel from the callus cutter," she said.