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$2 Million Settlement from Improper Use of Callus Remover

by Kimberly Pham | September 28, 2013

Application and removal times for different callus removers may vary greatly. Read instructions carefully before using.


A $2 million settlement was awarded to Jenny Howell of Milton, Fla., who was determined to have been permanently injured by the improper use of a callus softener at a Regal Nails salon in her city.

While performing a pedicure, nail technician Lilly Le applied and left callus softener on her client's feet for over 25 minutes, creating painful blisters and permanent damage to the superficial nerve fibers on Howell's feet resulting in her inability to walk. The product also caused burns on Howell’s arms from back-splash.

Medinail Learning Center podiatrist Robert Spalding and educator Janet McCormick testified as industry experts. Dr. Spalding stated that the callus softener called for a 45-second application per the product's instructions. The product was left on Howell for over 25 minutes. A spinal stimulator had to be surgically implanted to enable her the partial ability to walk.

In Dr. Spalding's reviews of nail salons since 1998, he has found the language barrier to be a major problem in many nail salons. “Many technicians are unable to communicate with the client or to understand client questions and requests” says Dr. Spalding. This can result in injuries as in Howell's case.

Topical callus softeners are potent liquid formulas that help soften calluses during a pedicure. It is extremely important to follow each and every product's instructions accordingly, because the ingredients and instructions for different brands will vary. For example, in this callus product round-up, Cuccio Naturalé’s Kava Root Elixir Callus Remover can be left on for five to 10 minutes, while Sheba Nails’ Vital Professional Callus Remover should only be left on for a few seconds. Many of them should be removed within three minutes.

As for performing proper services, there is no excuse for negligence, especially when you are caring for others. Click here for more info on some of the active ingredients in callus softeners.

— Kim

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