Health And Wellness

Why Wearing Hair Ties Around Your Wrist Could Kill You

Photo: Andrii Repetii / Shutterstock
woman putting hair in ponytail

Is nothing safe anymore? How many times have you put a hair tie around your wrist because you knew you would need it later? Because you knew you would lose one of those things if you didn't?

I know I have. I never leave my house without a scrunchie. You will never catch me in public with a bad hair day.

Many, many times. Putting a hair tie around your wrist is something you do without thinking, and certainly, without thinking there will be severe consequences.

But it turns out that wearing a hair tie around your wrist can be extremely dangerous to your health. 

Can women not have anything?? How else am I going to be prepared in case my perfect bun keeps getting loose?

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According to a 2015 story that's gone viral, Audree Kopp had a red lump on her wrist that kept getting larger and larger.

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Thinking it was a spider bite, she went to the doctor and he gave her some antibiotics.

But the lump kept growing and getting redder.

Finally, when the mass had gotten to the point of being hugely alarming, she decided to go to the emergency room.

"They said I needed surgery," Kopp told Louisville news station WLKY. "Thank God I caught it in time or I could have sepsis."

I would rather cut my hair short than ever risk getting surgery.

Here's where it gets truly disgusting and stomach-turning. The surgery was fairly simple, as it basically involved cutting open the lump and letting the pus out.

I can't even look at my soft and pretty scrunchies, knowing how much evil lurks under their beautiful appearance.

"She had a large abscess on the back of her wrist, so I made an incision and drained the pus all the way down," said Dr. Amit Gupta at Norton Healthcare.

Gupta concluded that the abscess was because of a bacterial infection created by the glitter-covered hair ties that Kopp often wore.

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The ties trapped bacteria which then got in through her pores.

Now I have to worry about the pores on my wrist, including the ones on my face.

Kopp wrote on her Facebook, "The glitter tie is the one that caused this issue. It rubbed a tiny scratch on my wrist, and the bacteria from the tie jumped in, causing a life-threatening bacterial infection."

Kopp added that if she hadn't caught the infection early on, there could've been catastrophic results. Needless to say, Kopp won't be wearing hair ties on her wrist any longer, at least not glittery ones.

Maybe just keep them in your purse, or save other women by asking to borrow the hair ties on their wrists. No need to cause panic about it.

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Bustle, Medium, and Woman's Day.