The ultimate foot fault – toe infection keeps player out of the game.

Toe infections from bad pedicures can keep even the best tennis players out of the game.

Top tennis player Victoria Azarenka was hoping to play in the semi-finals of the Brisbane Open against Serena Williams when a toe infection from a pedicure caused her to withdraw from the match.

“I tried everything. We tried medication with taping, and I was playing through the pain for quite a while,” said Azarenka, who won the Sydney International and the Australian Open last year during a 26-match winning streak to start the season. “It’s just something that I had to do to make sure that I can be fully recovered and ready for Australian Open. It’s that sort kind of compromise I had to take.

Serena Williams understood the pain Azarenka was feeling.

“I had that toe problem just a couple weeks ago and it’s painful … it’s so painful. Doesn’t sound painful, but it is. You can’t walk with that. I hope she gets better fast.” said Williams

In the end, part of her toenail had to be removed due to the infection.

It’s common for women to get pedicures all year in this country. According to an online foot care survey conducted in 2007 found that out of 2300 women surveyed 41% received pedicures as part of their normal personal grooming routine.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control recommend the following when receiving a pedicure:

  • Microorganisms in foot spas can enter through the skin; so broken skin (e.g., cuts and abrasions) should not come into contact with foot spa water.
  • Do not shave, use hair removal creams, or wax your legs during the 24 hours before receiving treatment in a foot spa.
  • Do not use a foot spa if your skin has any open wounds such as bug bites, bruises, scratches, cuts, scabs, poison ivy, etc.

If you feel like you have signs of an infection, the next step should be to contact your podiatrist and have it examined immediately.  Dr. Mark Green, a podiatrist serving Olathe, Overland Park and Kansas City, is a foot specialist with over twenty years of experience.  He is an expert when it comes to diagnosing and treating conditions like foot and toenail infections.

“At the first sign of pain, it is best to have your toe examined by a podiatrist.  We can identify the source of the problem and provide treatment to prevent infection from occurring.  In the event that an infection is already present, we can provide treatment to prevent any long-term, negative consequences.” Dr. Mark Green

If you want to be like Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams, how about hitting some great forehands on the tennis court instead of sharing the pain of an infected toe from a bad pedicure!  Pass on the pedicure if you have any signs of a cut on your feet, toes and toenails.  Your feet will thank you and it will keep you on the court.

To read more about Azarenka’s withdraw from the tournament click here.