A WOMAN almost had to have surgery when her hand and arm became horribly infected after having a manicure.

According to, Australian TV reporter Alex Bernhardt had recently had her nails done at a salon in Sydney when she happened to do an interview for a current affairs programme with a doctor, Kerryn Phelps.

Alex had noticed her finger and arm were increasingly painful, but it wasn’t until Phelps raised the alarm that she realised she was in trouble.

Phelps told her: “You have quite a severe infection, what we call a septic bursitis in your elbow.”

This is when an infection spreads causing swelling, redness and pain at the tip of the elbow.

Phelps pinpointed the source of her infection as a small cut next to her fingernail which Alex had recently had manicured.

She advised Alex to get herself to hospital as quickly as possible to have it treated.

Alex did as she was told and ended up at the Royal North Shore Hospital longer than she expected.

“I spent the next three days in hospital on intravenous antibiotics. At one stage, doctors warned they may need to operate,” said Alex.

Alex’s experience has raised the issue of hygiene at salons.

“No-one is suggesting nail salons can match the same sterilisation levels of a major hospital, but there’s certainly a growing demand for higher levels of hygiene in the industry,” said Alex.

The salon where Alex got her manicure has meantime furiously denied that the manicure they gave her had anything to do with the infection.