June 28, 2005

Paula Abdul lobbies for Calif. manicure hygiene

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - Describing a debilitatingthumb infection that caused her to "scream" in pain, "AmericanIdol" judge Paula Abdul urged California lawmakers on Monday tocrack down on nail salon hygiene.

Abdul, a former Lakers cheerleader who gained some fame inthe 1980s as a pop singer, spoke at a state legislative hearingin the state capital of Sacramento in support of a bill thatwould mandate tougher hygiene standards for nail salons.

Abdul told California lawmakers that an April 2004 manicurethat she had done in Los Angeles prompted over a year offollow-up medical care, including a prescription for medicationdesigned to treat parasites and shots of a local anesthetic.

"As a direct result of the manicurist usingnon-disinfected, non-sanitized manicuring instruments on myhand, I developed a bacterial infection from two knownbacteria," Abdul said.

"Being a professional dancer, I'm no stranger to pain. Mytolerance is this high, we learn to suck it up and notcomplain," she said. "But this kind of pain was soexcruciating, that even my hair touching my thumb and thebedsheet touching my thumb caused me to scream."

Abdul, who became one of the most recognized faces onAmerican television thanks to the success of "Idol," haspreviously said she suffers from a neurological disorder thatrequires a weekly injection of an anti-inflammatory drug.