Infection Prevention: Beware of Wearing Hair Ties Around Your Wrist

Sources: CBS News Philadelphia
You see it all the time — hair ties around the wrist.
You never know when you’re going to want to put your hair up. So the easy, convenient way to make sure a hair tie is always close by is wear it on your wrist like a bracelet. But as Audree Kopp learned, that can cause trouble: some hair ties can attract bacteria and cause an infection.
She says she noticed a growing bump on her wrist. “It just kept getting bigger, and redder, and worse. I thought that it was a spider bite or something else, not from wearing hair ties.”
First her doctor gave her antibiotics. But the bump continued to grow, so she decided to go to the emergency room. “They said I needed surgery!” Audree said.
“She had a large abscess on the back of her wrist,” said Dr. Amit Gupta of Norton Healthcare. He adds that bacteria from Audree’s hair tie likely got under her skin through her pores and hair follicles. Some of the material can collect bacteria, which can get rubbed into your skin.
“Be careful not to tie all those hair ties around the wrist,” warns Dr. Gupta. “It can cause problems with the skin. It can cause infection.”

Make sure hair ties and bands aren’t too tight around your wrist; avoid leaving them there for long periods of time; and wash them if you can.

Audree says she won’t wear hair ties on her wrist anymore, especially ones that are tough to clean. “Thank God I caught it in time or I could have had sepsis. 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 worse.”


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