Health fads make up some of the most popular videos on TikTok. Many health offers are considered viral, but few are completely dangerous.
Here are eight health trends on TikTok that our expert says you should miss.
1. Mouth taping
The hack: Tape your mouth shut while you sleep to improve snoring and reduce bad breath.
Why you should miss it: Although there are many benefits to breathing through the nose, doctors do not use this method to treat sleep disorders or other illnesses. “Gluing the mouth can cause difficulty breathing, disrupted sleep, or skin irritation,” says family medicine physician Timothy Wu, MD. “If you have trouble breathing through your nose at night, talk to your doctor about safe treatment options.”
The hack: Using vaginal fluids as perfume so your body’s natural pheromones can more easily attract potential mates.
Why you should miss it: This is unhygienic and can cause bad body odor which will cause the opposite effect of attraction. There is still much debate as to whether humans have pheromones at all, and the mammalian organ for detecting such odors (called the vomeronasal organ) is almost non-functional in humans.
3. Garlic in the nose
The hack: Put a clove of raw garlic in your nose to clear congestion.
Why you should miss it: This can make the problem worse. The smell of garlic is irritating to your nose, so it will cause your nose to produce more mucus than you had. “It can also lead to other problems, like a rash in your nose or an infection if a small piece gets into your nose,” says Dr. Wu.
4. Slime fishing
The hack: Scoop the mucus out of your eyes with a finger or cotton swabs.
Why you should miss it: Removing the mucus in your eyes causes more mucus to come back up. “Mucus is meant to protect the eye, and constant removal can expose your eyes to infection and trauma due to the fishing process with a finger or other tool,” says Dr. Wu.
5. Coffee with lemon for weight loss
The hack: Add lemon to your coffee to burn fat.
Why you should miss it: This health trend isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it tastes terrible and doesn’t work. There is no evidence that lemon in your coffee burns fat.
6. Dry scooping before training
The hack: Consume a scoop of dry protein powder pre-workout without pre-workout liquid to allow your body to absorb the powder faster and give you a better workout.
Why you should miss it: This is extremely dangerous. This can lead to breathing problems and even a heart attack. “These powders are designed to be consumed at a slower rate through liquid,” says Dr. Wu. “Trying to speed up this process can have dire consequences.”
7. Sun protection contour
The hack: Strategically apply sunscreen to the face to create contour lines of tan. This allows you to skip your contour makeup routine.
Why you should miss it: This poses a risk to your skin. “Any tan means your skin is damaged,” says Dr. Wu. “Also, the contouring effect is not achieved with this technique because it is impossible to control how the sun will hit your face.”
8. Boiling chicken in cold medicine
The hack: Cooking chicken in cold medicine like NyQuil.
Why you should miss it: Boiling the drug can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don’t eat the chicken, breathing in the fumes of the drug while cooking can cause high levels of the drug to enter your body, which can damage your lungs.
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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 doctor for individual care.