Monday, 21 October 2013
More medical myths
A comment someone made a few days ago inspired me. She said, "It's possible to drown in a teaspoon of water", and it inspired me to think she's an idiot for believing something so patently obviously wrong. It also inspired me to write another post on medical myths. I am shocked that so many of these exist, but even more shocked that people continue to believe and propagate them.
Take a deep breath, folks. We'll be going deep here.
Myth: Pulling a grey hair will cause two to grow back in its place.
Reality: Ha! Only one hair grows in each follicle, so how exactly would that work? In fact, pulling hairs can damage the follicle so the hair doesn't grow back at all. Which is better: one white hair or no hair, baldy? Yeah, I thought so.
Myth: A base tan will protect me from sunburn, so I'm going to the tanning salon before I go to the beach. I'm so smart!
Reality: No you aren't so smart. Tanning equals skin damage whether it's from the sun or a tanning booth, and it won't protect you from getting burnt. It also increases your risk of skin cancer by almost 70%. Want a tan? Spray it on. And tell the Oompa Loompas hi for me.
Myth: Don't wake a sleepwalker.
Corollary: Sleepwalkers walk like zombies with their arms in front of them.
Reality: No and no. It isn't dangerous to wake someone while they are sleepwalking. The proper thing to do is try to guide them back to bed. And they walk normally just like any other person, unless they are having a midnight craving for braaaaiiiinssss.
Myth: Do not, under any circumstances, let people with a concussion fall asleep or else they will die.
Reality: I see this all the time on TV and in movies, and it drives me a little bit crazier each time. "Stay with me! No no, don't fall asleep!" People who are concussed will NOT die if they fall asleep. Excessive sleepiness is actually quite normal after a concussion, and the proper thing to do is let them sleep.
Myth: I'm staying up all night partying on Friday night because I can make up for it by sleeping more over the weekend! Woohoo paaaarty!!
Reality: Actually, this one is true. If you lose a few hours over the week, you can make up for it by sleeping more during the weekend. But if you routinely sleep until 2PM, that just makes you a lazy bum so get your ass out of bed.
Myth: Im so drunk but I need to drive, so I'll have some strong black coffee and I'll be good to go!
Reality: NOOOOOOOOO! Especially if you live near me, stay the hell off the road if you've been drinking. I don't care what you put in your stomach, it will NOT magically decrease your blood alcohol level any faster. The alcohol in your blood needs to be metabolised. Full stop. The caffeine may help wake you up a bit, but it will not sober you up. So put the keys down. Now.
Myth: Blood in veins is blue and blood in arteries is red. It must be true because it says so on the Internet.
Reality: There may be truth in advertising, but the Internet has led countless people astray, and this time it's you. Blood is red. Deep red. You know, like blood red. Have you ever heard of blood blue? No, of course not. And the show Blue Bloods does NOT count.
That's it for part 2. There are lots more out there, and I welcome any comments and/or emails with more myths for me to bust. I think Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage would approve.
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