When it comes to health, myths, legends and campfire tales have a stubborn way of refusing to die. They tend to get passed down from generation to generation and sometimes even doctors and nurses believe things that aren’t supported by the evidence.
People still hold some misconceptions about illness and health. Here’s 5 common myths:
Myth: The flu shot can give you the flu. The influenza vaccine is created completely from inactive flu cells so you cannot get the flu from it. If you do feel sick afterward you may be allergic to some component of the shot besides the actual flu virus.
Myth: Wash your face constantly to get rid of acne. Acne is more common in teenagers because of the rise in hormone levels. These hormones, called androgens naturally increase in both sexes during puberty and can cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Washing the skin has little effect on the level of activity of the sebaceous glands.
Myth: If you keep drinking alcohol for a long period of time you will become an alcoholic. While moderate alcoholic beverage consumption over a long period may become a habit, that’s not the same as an addiction.
Myth: If you lift weights and then stop, your muscles will turn into fat. Muscle can’t turn into fat any more than fat can turn into muscle. The structure of the two are quite different. As we get older we naturally start to lose muscle mass. If you gain fat at the same time that you lose muscle, it might give you the illusion of muscle morphing into fat.
Myth: If you feel a cold coming on, have a bowl of chicken soup. While a hot bowl of soup delivered by your mother can make you feel happy and appreciated, there are no curative properties associated with chicken soup.
Medical myths persist because people accept them without question or proof. Medical science has come a long way in a very short time. It wasn’t so long ago that people thought that handling frogs would give you warts. The years to come will certainly reveal that some of the things that we know today are myths as well.