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Does ear piercing infect Hep C?

Hi, I come from China. In our country, the Hep C is common and I come from a small town where Hep C isn't paid attention. I pierce my ear in a nail salon. I asked if she disinfect her earring, she said yes but I did not see. She said it is 1-use but the earring is not in a air-tight box it means it can open and close many times. I did not worry because in that time I believe in her and I think after piercing the ear the earring can be taken so it cannot be 2-use. After I pierce my ear I began to worry because if someone do not like the earring they can throw the earring to the boss and the boss MAY recycle the earring without disinfection. I doubt it because there are many sharp earrings in the box which are not original. My earring is not original,too. It has been cut before. I do not know if the boss wants to be convenient so she cut it before or it has been used before. No VISIBLE BLOOD ON THE EARRING. BUT I CAN NOT SEE THE TIP OF THE EARRING. THE EARRING IS SOLID. Will I infect Hep C?
4 Responses
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi, it is hard to know. Hepatitis C can last on surfaces for quite a while. I guess I would get tested if you can in about 8-10 weeks then maybe again at about 5 months. Have you  been vaccinated for Hepatitis B? That is also a possibility. I hope that they were cleaned then you would be okay.There is no way to know. At least there is a treatment now. So if you find that you have it you can be treated.
mkh9
2 Comments
Hi, I have been vaccinated for Hepatitis B until 18 years old. Now I am 20. I do not know if it is useful.
Actually after pierced the ear, the earring will take away with customers and if customers take it out at the shop, it will be very painful. I ask the boss if it is 1-use, she promised me it is 1-use. I think I should go tested. No I felt a little tired everyday but I eat food without any discomfort. Thank you so much.
and I want to know how long can Hepatitis C survive in the dry blood. The amount of the blood is not visible I think because I do not see any blood on the surface and the tip of the earring is SO SMALL which can not save many blood. I think maybe at most 20ul....so Is my risk very high?
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hepatitis C can live on dried surfaces outside the body for up to 3 weeks. Maybe longer in dried blood. The virus is microscopic. You can see it and won't know if is there. Yes 20ul would be a risk. But how do you know that? There could be thousands of viruses in 20ul. The thing is if you don't get exposed to it by getting it into your blood stream then you won't get it. So if you don't have any blood in the ear (opening in the skin) you won't get it. But since you had newly pierced ears then you had some break in the skin. So it is possible. What you don't know is whether they really cleaned them in between or not and was it the right disinfectant to kill the virus. So, I would get tested just to see. If you are clear then you don't have to worry. With the Hepatitis vacccine if you had all 3 shots (initial plus two booster shots) then it is good for 10 years. Then they usually give you another booster. I am sure you have some immunity towards it but if it has been a long time after 10 years with no booster I don't know if your antibodies could drop down so low that you could that or not. This is a "grey' area for me.
Hope this helps.
mkh9
1 Comments
Thank you so much! I will test tomorrow. I have tested and I have Hep B antibodies when I was in high school I guess it is useful because now I am in college for 2 years...I am so angry that the woman lied to me. It is very bad day. All in all, thank you so much
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
I answered this yesterday and it doesn't seem to have taken my answer. So I said that yes Hepatitis C can stay on a dry object for up to 3 weeks. It may last longer in dry blood. Yes it can infect you even at 20ul you can have lots of virus in that low of a amount.  But if you don't have an open cut or wound where the virus can get in you may not have an exposure. But since you had newly pierced ears there was probably blood involved. So you may have been exposed. It all depends on whether or not they actually cleaned the earrings and tools or not. There is no way to know if they are telling the truth. I would just get tested then. The risk is about 1% with a needle stick of a Known positive person. Of those some (about 25%) still don't get it even though they get infected some clear the virus.  In your case it would be lower because you didn't have the same amount of blood and also, you don't even know if the person that may have used the earrings had Hepatitis C. So, I think your risk is pretty low. It may be that they did clean they off in between too. I have a feeling they probably did. But I would get tested to feel better at the times I mentioned. then you won't worry.
mkh9
2 Comments
I asked she and she said yes she use 1-use earring and she did not want to make trouble to herself. She use the alcohol to disinfect the  earring and when I said I will go tested she said ok, the earring is 1-use so there will not be anything. ANYWAY I will test, thank you so much!
The strange thing is that I did not bleed. After I take off the earring there are no blood on it, even my blood is not on it. I do not know why but maybe it is a good news to me! I can test with a relaxed mood. Thanks again!
1415174 tn?1453243103
COMMUNITY LEADER
Okay, good. Hopefully, it will be negative.
mkh9
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