Hepatitis Forums

Hepatitis C Prevention, Transmission and Testing => Am I Infected? => Topic started by: ScaryMum on June 03, 2016, 06:23:54 am

Title: Hairdresser incident - is testing warranted
Post by: ScaryMum on June 03, 2016, 06:23:54 am

I am new to this forum and writing from Scandinavia so sorry for my spelling and grammar. :)

I am 37 years old mother of two who is very scared at the moment for what happened 3 days ago.

I went to the hairdresser and after dyeing and cutting my short hair the hairdresser took an electric clipper/trimmer to finalize my hair. When she was working on my hair I felt a pinch and asked what happened. She looked behind my ear and said that the electric trimmer had accidentally pinched me. I asked to see it and did not see any bleeding cut but more like a scratch. I also asked the hairdresser to check and she said that it was not bleeding.When I came home my husband checked it and took a picture of it. He didn't see any bleeding or dried blood behind my ear but a red mark. I have a picture of it but I guess I can't attach it here?

I have read that sustaining a cut at hairdresser / barber may be risk factor for hepatitis. I have A+B vaccination so I only worry about HCV. I called my local HIV line and they said that HIV is not definitely able to transmit that way (dies in few seconds when outside the body and needs a lot of blood to a bleeding wound).

If there was someone's blood on the electric clipper/trimmer and it pinched me causing a red mark / superficial cut that was not bleeding, could I have contracted HCV? I don't think that the electric trimmer was sterilized before me so this is why I am so worried.

I have been tested for all blood borne viruses before (I have donated blood a couple of times) and this is my only possible risk. Do I need to worry and get tested for this incident?

Thank you!

Title: Re: Hairdresser incident - is testing warranted
Post by: gnatcatcher on June 03, 2016, 09:55:17 am
ScaryMum, I don't think you need to worry. Even if your small pinch had bled, the risk would have been very low. But your hairdresser might want to read this: http://hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/personal_care.pdf

Your English is excellent, vastly better than my Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, or Swedish ;D

Title: Re: Hairdresser incident - is testing warranted
Post by: ScaryMum on June 03, 2016, 10:53:25 am
Thank you so much for your reply!

Reading the article you linked this is exactly what I am wondering:

"when a small amount of HCVcontaining blood – even a tiny amount that
is too small to see – stays on the equipment
after it is used on one person, and then comes
into contact with the bloodstream (through a
cut or other open area on the skin)"

What does it (open area on the skin) really mean? Was this a risk or not when I was pinched but not enough to cause any bleeding from my ear?

I would not want to pursue testing if not really necessary... :-\

Title: Re: Hairdresser incident - is testing warranted
Post by: gnatcatcher on June 03, 2016, 02:17:10 pm
ScaryMum, that article also said, "The transmission of hepatitis C through personal care procedures has not been well-studied." In other words, the advice is extremely cautious. I had HCV for decades before it was diagnosed. During those decades, I occasionally used a family member's toothbrush by accident while I had bleeding gums, but I'm the only one who ever had HCV.

Consider a mosquito that draws blood from one person, then quickly enters the blood vessel of another person. The experts are convinced that if the first person has HCV, the second person isn't going to get HCV from that mosquito.

You mention that you donate blood occasionally. If three months from now you donate blood, they'll automatically test you for HCV. That should offer you full relief.

Title: Re: Hairdresser incident - is testing warranted
Post by: ScaryMum on June 03, 2016, 03:31:15 pm
Thank you!

I actually called to the blood bank and asked if I should withdrawn from donating blood because of what happened and they said no. They said that I am welcome to donate whenever it's suitable for me. I guess they would not have said that if they had considered this a risk thinking how cautious they are here in the Nordics?

They didn't even think that I should wait for 3 months.  :o
Title: Re: Hairdresser incident - is testing warranted
Post by: Mugwump on June 03, 2016, 05:58:36 pm
Please consider this; if transmission from slight contact with devices that can cause mild cuts was common then HCV infection that would very quickly become as easily transmitted as the black plague was. As far as how long HCV particles remain viable on a surface there is much debate.

What is known is that exposure to oxygen in the air breaks down the encapsulation of the virus and renders the virus particles inert as a surface dries. This is precisely why the danger is much greater from devices that can hold virus in a state where there is less exposure to the air.

It is a great shame that the public has become so afraid of this disease that many who have the disease do not talk about being infected even with the people that they deal with daily and that many so called medical "professionals" are equally ignorant about the truth regarding infection risks of this disease.
Title: Re: Hairdresser incident - is testing warranted
Post by: ScaryMum on June 04, 2016, 04:49:20 am
Thank you - this is exactly what I am wondering.

If transmission for a healthcare worker who is stuck with a needle known to carry infected blood is only 1,8 % chance then why "almost everything" is considered to be a possible route for transmission?  ::)

Isn't blood to blood meaning blood (fresh or dried) directly to bloodstream through injections, medical procedure causing patient to bleed or through open cut that is open - meaning actively bleeding?? I just don't understand the "opening of the skin", maybe it's because I'm not  a native English speaker but it kind of sounds like cuts / scratches that are not even deep enough to bleed might also be a risk...
Title: Re: Hairdresser incident - is testing warranted
Post by: Lynn K on June 05, 2016, 01:04:14 am
You would need to have an open wet wound not a scratch that does not bleed. Hep c infected blood must enter your blood stream. Hep c infected blood has to come into contact with your blood not your skin not a superficial scratch.

Cuts & scratches that are not deep enough to bleed are not a risk. Hep c is not easily transmitted if it was many more people would be infected.

Where have you seen "almost everything" is a route of transmission? That is not an accurate statement.

This is from the U.S. CDC

Hepatitis C FAQs for the Public


What are ways Hepatitis C is not spread?
Hepatitis C virus is not spread by sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. It is also not spread through food or water.

How is Hepatitis C spread?
Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, Hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants.
People can become infected with the Hepatitis C virus during such activities as
Sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs
Needlestick injuries in health care settings
Being born to a mother who has Hepatitis C
Less commonly, a person can also get Hepatitis C virus infection through
Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another person’s blood, such as razors or toothbrushes
Having sexual contact with a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus
Can Hepatitis C be spread through sexual contact?
Yes, but the risk of transmission from sexual contact is believed to be low. The risk increases for those who have multiple sex partners, have a sexually transmitted disease, engage in rough sex, or are infected with HIV. More research is needed to better understand how and when Hepatitis C can be spread through sexual contact.

If you continue to be concerned get tested for your own peace of mind but I would be very surprised if you contracted hep c from this incident