Common Illness Myths You Should Ignore

Young man suffering at home

These days, it seems like everyone has an opinion on healthcare and medicine. There is an enormous amount of misinformation out there, which can be dangerous when it comes to health and well-being. This is why it’s always important to be skeptical of the information that you read or are told unless it comes directly from a reliable healthcare source. Illness is one area where there are a lot of myths, so it’s helpful to take a look at a few of the most common myths that are spread and why they should be ignored. Ready? Keep reading to learn about common illness myths.

You Can “Sweat Out” An Illness

A classic old wives tale that you often still hear today is that you can “sweat out” an illness or fever. There’s no scientific evidence to back this up, and actually, you could exacerbate your symptoms by making yourself dehydrated. Instead, you should rest, eat healthily, and get enough sleep each night

Antibiotics Can Treat Viral Infections

Many people think that antibiotics can cure just about anything, but this isn’t the case. Although antibiotics are highly effective as a treatment against bacterial infections, you’ll find that they don’t work against viral infections (like flu or the common cold). Additionally, taking antibiotics when they’re not needed can lead to antibiotic resistance. 

You Can Catch A Cold By Being Cold

You’ll often hear people say, “you’ll catch a cold” if you go outside without warm clothing in cold weather. Again, this is a myth that has no evidence to back it up. While exposure to cold weather could potentially weaken your immune system, it doesn’t directly cause an illness. Of course, hypothermia is a risk when exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a prolonged time. 

You Should Expose Your Child To Chickenpox

Chickenpox is a nasty virus that’s highly contagious and common in children. It’s a viral infection that most people only get once in their life, which is why you sometimes hear of “pox parties” where parents would get their children to play with another child that has the infection. This is purposefully making your child ill with what can be a nasty illness that causes tremendous discomfort, plus there are risks of complications with chickenpox. 

Instead, it’s much better to get the chickenpox vaccine. The chickenpox vaccine will prevent your child from becoming ill and protect them for life against the virus. 

You Can Stop Taking Antibiotics Once You Feel Better

Once you’re feeling better, it might seem like you can stop taking your course of antibiotics, but this would be a risk. You’re prescribed an entire course for a reason, and this is to make sure that the bacteria is killed and doesn’t begin to grow again. Therefore, you should always finish your course, even if you begin to feel better before you’ve completed it.

These are a few of the most common health myths that you should ignore. You should always get your information from trusted sources and check with a healthcare professional if you’re unsure.