California woman denied manicure over lupus scars, she says: ‘I’ve never felt more like a leper’

A California woman claims she was denied a manicure at a local nail salon due to inflamed skin on her hands, a symptom of lupus.

Jeniffer Dreyer Brown posted emotional testimony detailing the incident on Facebook on July 6. That day, Brown said temperatures reached over 100 degrees, causing scars from her lupus – an autoimmune disease Brown said she’s lived with for 15 years – to flare. The sun’s ultraviolet rays have been known to worsen symptoms for those with the condition, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

In the video, Brown claimed a manicurist at Happy Nails salon in Laguna Niguel refused to perform a manicure. When Brown asked why, the manicurist, who has not been identified, allegedly made a comment about her inflamed skin.

Humiliated, Brown left, later recording her emotional response to the incident.

“People judge me because I have lupus and my skin is broken out,” she said through tears. “I’ve never felt more like a leper or more judged in Orange County.”

As of Thursday morning, Brown’s video had more than 1,400 reactions, nearly 100,000 views and hundreds of comments.

“My heart is broken. I will never set foot in Happy Nails again,” one Facebook user wrote.

“You are a strong beautiful woman, Jeniffer! Keep wearing those sun dresses and showing off your battle scars!” another commented.

There is no cure for lupus, “an autoimmune disease – in which your immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake – that can potentially damage many parts of the body,” according to the Lupus Research Alliance.

The Lupus Foundation of America estimates roughly 1.5 million Americans have the condition, which can cause skin rashes, lesions, joint pain and fatigue, among other symptoms.

The disease is not contagious – rather, it’s a result of a person’s hormones, genetics and environment, the foundation said.

After receiving backlash over the incident, the salon’s attorney, Scott Wellman, told FOX11 employees “were just trying to follow the rules.” He added that the manicurist likely didn’t know Lupus is not contagious.

Neither Wellman nor Brown were immediately available when Fox News requested additional comment Thursday morning.

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