A lot of us walk out the door each morning so used to strapping a hair tie on our wrists that we wouldn't give it a second thought. It might seem like the least dangerous part of your morning routine, but that wasn't the case for Audree Kopp, who allegedly sustained an infection from wearing a hair tie on her wrist. (WARNING: This post contains graphic images.) The Louisville, Kentucky resident said that she noticed a small bump on her wrist growing larger, and sought out medical treatment for it. After being given antibiotics, the bump continued to swell — the next morning she was rushed into emergency surgery, after the discovery that the bump was infected with three types of bacteria, and close to causing blood poisoning.
Doctors warned her that the bump was caused by a two-day-old, glittery hair tie that Kopp had worn around her wrist, that caused a tiny scratch and allowed the bacteria under her skin. Dr. Amit Gupta, a member of the medical team who worked on Kopp's case, warned on WLKY, “Be careful — you can’t put all these hair ties around wrists, they can cause problems with the skin, with infections."
Here is an image of the initial bump, which Kopp believed at first to be a spider bite:
(WARNING: IMAGES ARE GRAPHIC.)
Doctors had to treat the infection by going under the skin, and Kopp shared with BuzzFeed news that surgeons told her it was lucky it didn't end up in her bone or muscle.
Now Kopp has taken to social media to spread awareness about the unexpected danger, saying in a Facebook post, "Please share this, because I’m pretty sure about 90% of us females don’t think twice about keeping hair ties on our wrists." She also advises hair tie enthusiasts to use the plastic, no-slip variety, because they are much less likely to cause tiny scrapes on your wrist.
For those of us still using the normal variety, she says to make sure you wash all the way up your wrist when you wash your hands, including under the hair tie — although she adds that she won't be wearing any more hair ties around her wrist after this.
Images: twinsterphoto/Fotolia; WLKY