The manicure from hell: Woman, 23, in Oregon sues nail salon for $1.75million claiming treatment gave her HERPES

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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A woman in Oregon is suing her nail salon for $1.75million — after claiming that a manicure gave her herpes.

The customer, 23, who has not been named, visited the salon in June 2023 for the beauty treatment which saw her nails cut, filed and shaped.

But immediately afterwards she noticed inflammation and swelling on two of her fingers and said she began to feel ill. 

Four days later, however, painful blisters erupted from her skin — with the patient rushed to hospital and then diagnosed with genital herpes.

The woman, who filed the lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court which covers the state capital Portland, said she did not have herpes before but was infected at the salon.

The above picture, shared by the 23-year-old woman in Oregon, shows the herpes on one of her fingers

She says she caught the virus after going for a manicure at PDX Nails in Portland, Oregon

She says she caught the virus after going for a manicure at PDX Nails in Portland, Oregon

In the lawsuit, she says the technician did not wear gloves — which could have prevented any infections from spreading.

The technician was also alleged to have stored drill bits used to help shape the nails inside a mints tin, from the brand Altoids.

The woman is seeking damages from the salon — PDX Nails in Portland — saying that the infection has left her in pain and suffering from regular flare-ups in her hands.

This has left her needing to wear band-aids on her fingers to cover up the sores which have, at times, attracted questions.

The woman, known only as S.R., also fears she may never be rid of the infection and will have to be careful with any future children — with herpes able to lie dormant in the body for decades.

She told Oregon Live: ‘The flare-ups can be super, super painful. It’s always on my mind.

‘People have asked: “What happened to your finger?”. ‘I don’t want to tell them what it really is because it’s really embarrassing.’

The lawsuit names Tam Nguyen, who is listed as the salon manager, and Hai Nguyen, who is listed as the salon owner, as defendants.

Neither responded to requests for comment.

The woman also revealed how she had been getting manicures since she was about eight years old, regularly accompanying her mother to salons.

On many occasions, she said she had visited the businesses for fun — such as birthday parties and girl’s nights out.

Claimants have previously been awarded damages following injections at a nail salon.

In 2002, a woman in Colorado was awarded $3.1million after finding she contracted herpes from a manicure that used non-sterile instruments. And in 2021, a woman in Florida was paid $1.75million by a salon after it emerged that she had suffered an infection that resulted in her leg being amputated.

In 2012, a Multnomah County jury also awarded a Portland woman $900,000 after she contracted herpes from her date, who had sex with her without informing her of his status.

Herpes is commonly transmitted via sexual contact, but the virus can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces — such as toilet seats and bedding.

Warning signs appear within two to 12 days of an infection and can include painful blisters, fever, swelling and muscle aches.

If left untreated, it can lead to more severe blisters on the infected area — typically in the mouth or around the genitals.

Doctors say this can leave patients struggling with daily activities including eating, drinking, sleeping and speaking due to the pain and discomfort.

Treatment options include antivirals and over-the-counter pain relief medications, but patients can suffer from repeat flare-ups because the virus can lie dormant in the body for years.

About 570,000 herpes infections are recorded in the US every year, data suggests.

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