While they’re destined for our ponytails, hair ties so often end up around our arms — whether it be for convenience or safekeeping (we’ll do literally anything to preserve that precious last band, no matter how threadbare it gets).
However, we’re seriously considering finding another storage spot for our hairbands after reading the story of Kentucky woman Audree Kopp. A fortnight ago, Kopp noticed a bump on her wrist that was rapidly growing bigger and redder, so she visited her doctor.
During her first appointment, she was given antibiotics. The second time around, she underwent emergency surgery.
“Thank God I caught it in time, or I could have had sepsis,” Kopp told US news channel WLKY.
Well, Audree Kopp’s story should serve as a warning to those of you who do wear your hair ties like this from time to time.
As Dr Amit Gupta of Norton Healthcare explained, the bump was in fact a large abscess resulting from three types of infections. The surgery involved an incision and draining of the puss “all the way down”.
At this point in the story, you’ve probably put two and two together. If not, here’s the clincher: Dr Gupta believes the abscess was caused by bacteria from a sparkly ribbon-style hairband Kopp had been wearing around her wrist, which had entered her skin through her pores and hair follicles.
Right! Here we were thinking the worst thing a hairband could do to your wrist was leave a red mark or cut off a little bit of circulation.
By the sound of it, Kopp was equally stunned. “I didn’t believe it at first. I thought that it was a spider bite,” she told WLKY.
She posted a picture of the gaping hole in her wrist on Facebook, saying: “day #3, just saw the doc. I probably WONT need another surgery. she was shocked to find out I had three bacteria’s … strep, staph, AND poly negative (which is severe and typical antibiotics can’t help).”
“Please share this, because I’m pretty sure about 90 per cent of us females don’t think twice about keeping hair ties on our wrists,” she posted on her page.