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My mother always told me that wearing a hair tie around my wrist wasn’t good for me. But why? It’s easy and convenient to keep a tie on my wrist. But after learning about Audree Kopp’s story, I now have reason to believe she’s right.
When Kopp was moving her belongings from one home to another she noticed a red bump on her arm where her hair tie rests. Thinking it was a simple spider bite, she ignored the swelling and continued to move into her new home.
But then the bump got bigger. And bigger And bigger. “It just kept getting bigger and redder, and worse,” Kopp said to WGAL, as reported by Refinery 29. She saw a doctor who put her on a round of antibiotics, but the swelling didn’t go down.
She then decided she needed to go to the emergency room. “They said I needed surgery,” Kopp told CBS Philly. “Thank god I caught it in time or I could have had sepsis.”
Dr. Amit Gupta of Louisville says in the video interview that the infection was most likely caused by bacteria from the hair tie that got under her skin.
“Be careful, you can’t put all these hair ties around the wrist … because it can cause problems and infections under the skin,” Dr. Gupta says.
But it’s important to note infections like Kopp’s aren’t common.
“It’s possible but very rare,” Dermatologist Dr. Alex Khadavi told Shape.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be careful: Khadavi recommends keeping your hair ties as sanitary as possible and swapping them out with new ones every couple of months. (They do spend time on less-than-pristine bathroom counters, at the bottoms of bathroom drawers and handbags, and brushing up against germy equipment at the gym, after all.)
Still want to keep your hair tie on your wrist? Consider getting one of these fun bracelets, designed specifically to hold your hair tie off your wrist:
This set of four hair tie bangles comes in four metallic hues to suit any outfit: yellow gold, rose gold, sleek silver and classic black. Just slip your hair tie into the groove of the stainless steel bracelet to disguise it.
Buy Zuo Bao Hair Tie Bracelet at Amazon for $22.89.
For a more personal touch, this hair tie bracelet comes with an inscription, “Just breathe,” on the inside. It’s available in black, rose gold and silver.
Buy Breathe Hair Tie Cuff Bracelet at Amazon for $11.99-13.99.
Need to hold two hair ties at a time? This bracelet’s got you. It comes in silver and rose gold.
Buy Double Channel Hair Tie Bracelet at Amazon for $14.66.