Health fads make up some of the most popular TikTok videos. Many health suggestions are virally viewed but there are few that are outright dangerous.
Here are eight TikTok health trends our expert says you should skip.
The Hack: Taping the mouth closed while you sleep to improve snoring and decrease bad breath.
Why You Should Skip: While there are numerous benefits to nose breathing, doctors do not use this method to treat sleep disorders or other ailments. “Mouth taping could lead to obstructed breathing, sleep disruption or skin irritation,” says family medicine physician, Timothy Wuu, M.D. “If you are having trouble breathing through your nose at night, talk with your doctor about safe treatment options.”
The Hack: Using vaginal fluids as perfume so your body’s natural pheromones can more easily attract possible partners.
Why You Should Skip: This is unhygienic and can cause bad body odor which will cause the opposite effect of attraction. There is still a lot of debate about if humans even have pheromones, and the organ in mammals to detect such scents (called the vomeronasal organ) hardly functions in humans.
The Hack: Putting a clove of raw garlic up your nose to clear up your congestion.
Why You Should Skip: It can make the issue worse. The smell of garlic is an irritant to your nose, so it will cause your nose to produce more mucus than you already had. “It could also lead to other problems such as a rash in your nose or an infection if a tiny piece were to get lodged in your nose,” says Dr. Wuu.
The Hack: Dig out mucus from your eyes with your finger or cotton swabs.
Why You Should Skip: Removing the mucus in your eyes causes mucus to return in higher amounts. “Mucus is meant to protect the eye, and constant removal can expose your eyes to infections and trauma due to the fishing process with your finger or other instrument,” says Dr. Wuu.
The Hack: Add lemon to your coffee to burn fat.
Why You Should Skip: This health trend isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it tastes terrible and doesn’t work. There is no evidence that lemon in your coffee will burn fat.
The Hack: Consume a scoop of dry pre-workout protein powder without liquid before a workout to allow your body to absorb the powder faster and will give you a better workout.
Why You Should Skip: This is extremely dangerous. It can lead to breathing problems and even heart attacks. “These powders are designed to be consumed at a slower rate through liquid,” Dr. Wuu says. “Attempting to accelerate this process can have dire effects.”
The Hack: Strategically place sunscreen on the face to create contouring tan lines. This allows you to skip your contouring makeup routine.
Why You Should Skip: This poses a risk to your skin. “Any tan means your skin has been damaged,” says Dr. Wuu. “In addition, the contouring effect isn’t really achieved with this technique because it’s impossible to control how the sun will hit your face.”
The Hack: Cooking chicken in a cold medication like NyQuil.
Why You Should Skip: Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the medication’s vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body which can damage your lungs.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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