Wearing a Hair Tie on Your Wrist Could Make You More Vulnerable to Infection

hair tie
(Photo: Twitter / @Dashiahlyneah )

Many people with long hair, whether it’s women or men, carry around a hair tie harmlessly on their wrist for easy access when hair becomes a bother. As it turns out, however, this habit might not be as harmless as once thought — a hair tie tight across a wrist could actually lead to an infection.

According to TODAY, Audree Kopp of Louisville, Kentucky, was moving into her new home, with her handy hair tie around her wrist. As the day went on, the rough, tight edges of the tie caused an abrasion around her wrist, which further allowed bacteria to enter the body through the broken skin.

The large and painful bump on Kopp's arm wouldn’t go away when she took antibiotics, so she had to see a doctor to perform surgery and drain the fluid inside.

“To get [an infection] from a tight wrap from something like this is not unheard of,” said Dr. William Seitz of the Cleveland Orthopedic and Spine Hospital at Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland.

Kopp had developed an abscess that festered under her skin due to the bacteria that entered through the cuts on the skin. Dr. Lauren Ploch, of the American Academy of Dermatology, says that research shows that people who wear wristwatches are also more likely to get infections than those who do not for similar reasons.

“[G]iven that items worn on the wrist can harbor bacteria, there may be a higher chance of infection if the skin below the skin below the item were to become compromised,” Dr. Ploch added.

Here are five ways to keep your hair tie close but without having to worry about infection:

The looser, the better

Make sure that your hair tie, jewelry, and watches are loose at the wrist. Not only will this lessen the chance of causing abrasions, but it will keep the blood flowing to your finger and hands.

Lose the glitter

Glitter may give you sparkle, but it is also likely to cause irritation on your skin — further causing cuts, which can allow bacteria into your body.

Remove it

Don’t sleep with your hair tie on your wrist! You’re not likely to need it in slumber land, so give your wrist a break. This will not only help keep your blood flowing, but also allow you to keep your skin cleaner.

Clean up

Remember to wash underneath your hair tie or watch. Actually, when you go to wash your hands, just take it off. When you wash underneath, you’ll wash away the bacteria.

Switch it up

Clothes get dirty, hair gets dirty, and so do hair ties! Switch out your ties to help keep your skin cleaner when you wear it around your wrist.

So, keep in mind that a clean wrist and a clean hair tie will help keep you out of harm’s way when it comes to a hair tie induced skin infection.