News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Blogs  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter   



Doctors Lounge - Infections Answers

"The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician."

Back to Infections Answers List

Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: Hepatitis Transmission at Barber

 chuck91105 - Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:36 pm

25 Years Old
Previous Splenectomy

I have a question about the possibility of being infected with Hep B or Hep C at the barber shop. I just came from the barber where I was nicked with the clippers. I've been nicked before. It seems that other than cutting one's own hair, there is no way to mitigate this risk. What are the chances of acquiring one of the hep viruses this way? Does Hep B or Hep C surivive for a long while outside of the body?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:44 pm

User avatar Your barber should be sterilizing his shaving equipment and changing blades between patients. I'm not sure about hair clippers and what precautions he might be taking there. You pose a good question. I doubt the barbers are especially diligent about using antiseptic solutions between patients as they should be but I doubt the risk is huge or we would be seeing patterns to that effect. You can raise these questions with your barber and if he doesn't answer to your satisfaction, keep looking. I suspect this could be one possible mode of transmission, though the greatest risk is IV drug contamination and sexual contact. There are a good number of cases with unknown sources of infection.

Hepatitis does have a long life even without a host. Hepatitis B can live for seven days outside the body. At least hepatitis B can be prevented with vaccination. It's too bad we don't yet have such protection available for hepatitis C. In this world we live in, getting immunized makes sense.

Thank you for writing.


Check a doctor's response to similar questions


advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application


 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)



Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us

Copyright © 2001-2016
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME Articles

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.