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Do you actually get sick faster if you go out with cold hair in the cold?
Stress and hectic determine the everyday life of many people. Some of them will not even find the time to blow-dry their hair after a shower. This feels uncomfortable, especially in winter. It is also said to make you sick when you go out with cold hair in the cold. But is that really true?
Health myths from grandmother's time
"Vitamin C prevents colds", "The blisters can catch cold on cold floors": These and similar medical myths from grandmother's times are widespread. Some are true, some are not, and for some there is neither clear evidence nor unequivocal refutation. The assumption that you get sick when you leave the house with wet hair is also common.
Not in the cold with wet hair
"Blow dry your hair, otherwise you will get death": Such and similar sayings often come when you don't have enough time and after showering with wet hair you have to go out into the cold.
At least one hat should then be worn, because popularly, a cold head can be a real sickness.
If you do not do this and get an infection in the freezing cold, you will also hear that you are to blame for your cough, runny nose and fever.
But is it really true that you tend to get sick when you go out with wet hair? Stephan Bernhardt from the General Practitioners' Association in Berlin and Brandenburg believes that the question must be answered with yes and no.
Body constantly fights bacteria
"You don't get sick from wet hair, but from bacteria," says the doctor, according to a report by the dpa news agency.
Bernhardt explained that the body constantly fights bacteria and thus protects us from diseases. For example, if you freeze because of wet hair, it is harder for the body to fight off all bacteria.
Cold feet also increase the risk that pathogens can be fought less effectively.
If the immune system is strong enough, the bacteria have no chance, even with wet hair. According to the experts, it is a matter of getting used to it, because if you often go out with wet hair, you get used to the fact that you lose heat through your head.
As Bernhardt said, it also depends a little on what you tell yourself: "If you think hard of a cold, if you go out with wet hair, you will get one."
Airways more susceptible to cold air
The president of the German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine, Erika Baum, explained in the dpa report that the upper respiratory tract was demonstrably more susceptible to cold air.
According to the expert, for example, the defense mechanism of the cilia is affected by cold and dry air.
In addition, children in particular could cool down quite quickly because their hair is relatively large and thin.
Baum also pointed out that cold or wet and cold feet have been shown to cause cystitis.
A lot of exercise and warm foot baths can help against ice feet.
Various factors play a role
Ultimately, according to Silke Buda from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there are many seasonal factors that influence the spread of respiratory diseases such as flu and colds:
"Temperature, weather and humidity play a role, but not the decisive factor."
For example, vaccination protection in the population, the novelty of a virus variant and also the immune system of the individual would have an impact.
Furthermore, most people tend to stay in closed, heated rooms in winter, which can dry out the mucous membranes. In places where there are many people, infections are more likely to occur.
Protect against infections
Therefore, healthy people should keep away from sick people and infected people should not distribute the viruses.
It is important for both groups to wash their hands frequently. In addition, it makes sense to strengthen the immune system to prevent diseases such as influenza.
A flu infection, the "simple" cold can be caught several times a year.
The symptoms start slowly and subside after a few days. This is a known difference between cold and flu. The latter occurs suddenly. (ad)