If you frequently wear your hair in a ponytail, chances are you've worn a hair tie on your wrist at some point or another. But one woman's recent health scare may prompt you to think twice about that seemingly innocent behavior. Audree Kopp of Louisville, Kentucky, contracted a dangerous infection on her wrist because of a hair band.
During a recent move, Kopp wasn't paying attention to the glittery hair band on her wrist until she noticed a large painful bump appearing. It turns out the rough edges of the ponytail tie had dug into her wrist, allowing bacteria to enter and causing an infection.
When a standard course of antibiotics didn't kill the infection, Kopp went to the emergency room where Dr. Amit Gupta, a hand surgeon at Norton Healthcare in Louisville performed surgery to remove the abscess from her wrist. Gupta told local news station WCVB that he found bacteria in the wound consistent with the microbes commonly found in the mouth.
Kopp probably put the band in her mouth while she gathered her hair for a ponytail. When she took her hair down, she likely unwrapped the band and placed it back on her wrist. It's a two-step procedure that countless long-haired people do, many of them performing the routine multiple times throughout the day. So it's easy to see how a band can become worn and rough and how it could start to abrade the skin around the wrist after a few hours of wear.
There's no doubt that Kopp's case was an unusual one. But with the number of people you see wearing these bands on their wrists everyday, it's kind of surprising that we haven't heard of a case like this before.
Kopp learned her lesson about wearing hair bands on her wrist the hard way. For the rest of us, it serves as a good reminder to store hair bands in our pockets or purses when not in use and keep them out of our mouths no matter what.