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Woman Wearing Hair-Tie Around Wrist Develops Life-Threatening Infection

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --  You see it all the time, hair-ties around the wrist.  You never know when you're going to want to put your hair up, but some kinds can attract bacteria and cause an infection.

It's the easy, convenient way to make sure a hair-tie is always close by, wear it on your wrist like a bracelet.

Audree Kopp learned that it can cause trouble.

"I didn't believe it at first," Audree said. "I thought that it was a spider bite, or something else, not from wearing hair-ties."

Audree says she noticed a growing bump on her wrist.

"It just kept getting bigger, and redder, and worse," said Audree.

First her doctor gave her antibiotics, but the bump continued to grow. So she decided to go to the emergency room.

"They said I needed surgery," Audree said. "Thank god I caught it in time or I could have had sepsis."

"She had a large abscess on the back of her wrist," said Dr. Amit Gupta, of Norton Healthcare.

Dr. Gupta says bacteria from Audree's hair-tie likely got under her skin, through her pores and hair follicles, causing a nasty infection.

"Be careful you can't tie all those hair-ties around the wrist," said Dr. Gupta. "It can cause problems with the skin. It can cause infection."

Audree says she won't wear hair-ties on her wrist anymore, especially ones that are tough to clean.

"It could have been a whole different ball game," said Audree. "Once it gets into your bloodstream, people have been known to go into a coma, your body shuts down. It could have been worse."

Doctors say you should make sure the bands aren't too tight around your wrist. Don't leave them there for long periods of time, and wash them if you can. Some of the material can collect bacteria, which then gets rubbed into your skin.

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