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Fear of Hepatitis B from barbershop clipper accident

I go to a small barbershop and I was there at 9am sharp just at opening. The barber seemed rushed to get me started and I did not see the clippers used to cut my hair were sterilized in any way. Perhaps they were dirty from the day before.

The barber accidentally hit my forehead with the clippers (I felt the impact/pinch) and a few hours later I started to develop a boil. Now I have a large, painful boil on my forehead roughly where the clippers hit my head.

I am reading about the risk of Hepatitis B being transmitted by dirty clippers in barbershops. I am worried, what is the risk considering I already got most likely a staph skin infection from this event.

What is the risk relative to a needlestick injury or going to the dentist?
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A related discussion, Confused About Hepatitis B was started.
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would you agree with this?

HCV is not transmitted efficiently through occupational exposures to blood. The average incidence of anti-HCV seroconversion after accidental percutaneous exposure from an HCV-positive source is 1.8% (range: 0%--7%) (73--76), with one study indicating that transmission occurred only from hollow-bore needles compared with other sharps (75). Transmission rarely occurs from mucous membrane exposures to blood, and no transmission in HCP has been documented from intact or nonintact skin exposures to blood (77,78). Data are limited on survival of HCV in the environment. In contrast to HBV, the epidemiologic data for HCV suggest that environmental contamination with blood containing HCV is not a significant risk for transmission in the health-care setting (79,80), with the possible exception of the hemodialysis setting where HCV transmission related to environmental contamination and poor infection-control practices have been implicated (81--84). The risk for transmission from exposure to fluids or tissues other than HCV-infected blood also has not been quantified but is expected to be low.

From what I understand there is no cause for alarm here....
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Avatar universal

Excuse me for continuing the conversation but I cant find the Post a question button in the forum main page.
(maybe some glich)

I am conserned about a joke that i pulled on my friends.
I found a push pin and as a joke i pinched one of my friends on the arm.
Then I did the same thing to 2 of my other friends. Not to stab them but simply to pinch them.

I am sure I did not caused bleeding or stabbed them too deep.
Then when i get home i tried to see how difficult is to cause bleeding with a push pin and its very difficult. I am sure i did not use enough force in order to penetrate their skin.

Maybe there was enouph force to cause a small scrach or nick but just on the very surface of the skin.

I am preaty sure that there was no blood involved and their skin was intact.
But If lets say one of them had a scrats from the same object is it sufficient for transmition of hep c or b to occur? or it needs deep tissue exposure and it needs to be a hollow needle in order to transmite (like hiv virus)

We are all 23 yo healthy not using any IV drugs.

Was this a very risky episode or not?
I know it was a bad joke bad was it risky
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1760304 tn?1316453559
Dear scorpion1999,

I would say that your chances of acquiring hepatitis B in such a scenario would be minimal ( as I assume there was no bleeding when the clippers hit you). Hepatitis B is usually transmitted through infected body fluids and blood. Sharing of sharp instruments like razors can also transmit this virus.

The chance of acquiring HBV infection through needle stick injury is approximately 20 to 30%. But this virus can survive outside the body for atleast 7 days.

In order to allay your anxiety, I would suggest the following
1.     If you have not been immunized against hepatitis B, please do so. Three doses of the vaccine are required to offer adequate protection.
2.     If the exposure was less than 24 hours ago, hepatitis B immunoglobulin is available which can protect you against the infection.

Please speak with your physician about this as soon as possible.

If you have already been immunized against hepatitis B, there is nothing that you need to worry about. You will be protected from the infection. You should refrain from getting shaved or allowing the barber to use his instruments.

Hope that this information helps and hope that you will get better soon.

Thank you for using MedHelp's "Ask an Expert" Service, where we feature some of world's renowned medical experts in their fields. Millions have benefitted from our service to get personalized advice for them and for their loved ones.

Best Regards,
Dr. Poorna Chandra
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