Caution: Hair Ties Worn on Wrist Can Cause Infection

- Stretchy hair ties, even sparkly ones, can spice up your look. They’re an everyday staple for women who want the option of throwing their hair up throughout the day.

Turns out this sparkly piece of convenience was the culprit of a nasty infection.

Audrey Kopp wore hair ties on her wrist where she noticed a bump. 

After realizing the bump on her wrist was getting bigger, and bigger, she decided to go to the Emergency Room.

“I didn't believe it at first, I thought that it was a spider bite, or something else, not from wearing hair-ties,” Kopp said.  “They said I needed surgery and thank god I caught it in time or I could have had sepsis."

Kopp’s doctor said bacteria from her hair tie probably got under her skin. St. Vincent Infectious Disease Director, Dr. Christopher Belcher says that may sound crazy, but it's not impossible for a hair tie to cause that kind of damage.  An incision had to be made to drain the pus from Kopp's wrist.   

Dr. Belcher said hair ties have little sharp plastic edges, they probably caused little nicks in her skin. “Just like you get from shaving or bug bites or what not. Any breaks in the skin can set you up for infection,” he added.

 And this makes us think--how dirty are our hair ties?

According to Belcher, “Items that you wear frequently need to be washed and laundered. And I doubt people launder their hair ties very often unlike their shirts or other things so they may be a collection ground for germs."

A grateful Kopp said, “It could have been a whole different ball game, once it gets into your bloodstream, people have been known to go into a coma, your body shuts down it could have been way worse.”

 

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