We never realized wearing hair ties on our wrists could be so dangerous

Hair ties are tricky creatures — you can buy a brand new pack of 100, but by the end of the week, be left with only one, stretched out band you found on the floor in sixth grade. Even though it’s not the most fashionable move, most of us keep hair ties on our wrists, if only to prevent them from running off and forming an army with all of our missing socks.

Unfortunately, wearing hair ties like bracelets could be a danger to your health. In a shocking report from WGAL, a young woman named Audree Kopp shared that her hair tie caused an infection on her wrist that landed her in the emergency room.

Audree was moving into a new home when she noticed a large lump on her arm, but assumed it was a spider bite. At first, she didn’t think anything of it, but over time, the bump became worrisome. Though her doctor prescribed her antibiotics, there was no improvement. ”It just kept getting bigger, and redder, and worse,” she said.

Dr. Amit Gupta recognized that Audree was in danger of developing sepsis, and performed emergency surgery on the infection. In order to prevent the situation from worsening, he cut open the bump and drained all of the fluid from it (and yes, it’s as gross as it sounds). Dr. Gupta blames the infection on the sparkly hair tie that Audree had been wearing around her wrist, saying that it gathered bacteria and rubbed it on her skin and into her hair follicles.

If you’d like to avoid Audree’s plight, Dr. Gupta recommends wearing a super loose hair tie on your wrist or none at all. After seeing Audree’s arm after surgery, I’m personally never going to let any hair ties in my house ever again. Bobby pins only!
In all seriousness, Audree was very lucky. ​”It could have been a whole different ball game,” she said. “Once it gets into your bloodstream, people have been known to go into a coma, your body shuts down. It could have been worse.”

If you’re not already freaked out enough, you can watch the full report below. WARNING: There are so graphic images of Audree’s wrist after her surgery that made me spit out my coffee. So, watch at your own risk (and maybe swallow your Starbucks first).

(Image via Shutterstock.)