Warning about painful pedicure tool

Update: Wednesday, Dec. 14 on 11 p.m.

Stacey Winter enjoys getting a pedicure and the frequent visits keep her feet nice and soft.

"The hot water's nice, just to relax," Winter said.

But people are leaving salons and quickly seeing a troubling health problem.

The Missouri Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners issued a warning against using a credo blade. The credo blade, which was outlawed last year, causes bleeding, infections and removes healthy skin.

However, Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners Executive Director Emily Carroll said many salons and consumers are still using the illegal tool.

"A lot of times they have a pedicure and the following day they have a lot of signs and symptoms," Carroll said.

Credo blades were used to remove calluses and dead skin; but, the blades also cuts off large areas of skin.

Pedicure customers' feet can become red, inflamed and cause pain; all signs that can lead to more than just a simple infection Carroll said.

"Staph infection, MRSA, and it can lead to a toenail fungus," Carroll said.

Columbia's Riversong Spa & Salon manicurist Heather Mortimer said using a file and microplane to remove a callous is safer. Plus, the tools are easier to sanitize.

Salon owner Greg Vadner said the file and microplane are also legal to use and any other way is not worth the risk.

"Just think about this, a slip with a razor no matter how well protected is a serious danger, you have done done harm," Vadner said. "Whereas a slip with a foot file or a microplane, there's no harm, no injury to the person. So to me, it's really a question of if it's worth the risk, one slip can be a terrible situation."

The State Board of Cosmetology has received dozens of consumer complaints, but believes that's just a fraction of the people who've had problems with the credo blade.

If you know of a salon still using credo blades or want to report a problem follow this link.

Carroll said there are quick and easy ways to safe guard yourself from danger during your pedicure:

Don't shave your legs on the day of your pedicure. Shaving opens your pores and could increase you chance for infection.

Be sure the person doing your pedicure has a valid license that is displayed in the salon.

The foot soaking basin should be cleaned before you put in your feet.

Be sure the tools are sanitized before each use. Carroll said many customers bring their own tools for the salon to use.

Original Story:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri regulators are warning nail and beauty salons against using razor blades to remove calluses during pedicures and other skin treatments.

The state Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners said it's received nine complaints about the use of a device called a "credo blade" to remove calluses and dead skin.

Missouri outlawed credo blades last year. The short-handled devices are similar to household razors. Officials said the blades can cause bleeding and infections and remove healthy skin.

State officials said calluses should only be removed by using a pumice stone or file.