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Is this an 'old wives tale'?

Posted by ellenr z6 NJ (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 5, 09 at 6:05

"You should not go out if you have a cold."
One concern is infecting others.
Aside from that I wonder if there is any scientific health basis for the idea that one should stay inside.
Another one is my mother used to always say, 'don't go outside with wet hair, you'll catch a cold'- I wonder about that too-
I can't see any reason why having a wet head would make one more likely to catch a cold.

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RE: Is this an 'old wives tale'?

  • Posted by ajpa z6 se PA (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 5, 09 at 9:08

I remember reading a study that proves that getting chilled does increase the likelihood of you getting a cold. (I think they immersed the trial group's feet in cold water in the study). So going out in the cold with wet hair would have a similar effect.
I assume it depresses your immune system -- in lower temps your blood will circulate less, since it's needed to keep your core temp up. So less white blood cells available to fight germ invaders in your nose/mouth/etc.
So I think it's not just an old wives tale. Plus, we need rest to fight a cold, another reason to stay indoors if possible.
Are you feeling any better?

RE: Is this an 'old wives tale'?

well that's interesting.
Nice to know Mom knew what she was talking about. :)

I don't know if I am feeling better. Sometimes I seem to, then I'll feel bad again.
Yesterday I had a temp of 100 which was kinda scary cuz earlier I had not previously had a temp. So far today I wasn't able to take my temp cuz I can't breathe thru my nose!

Anyway I'm hungry, so I can't be that sick.

How are you today?


RE: Is this an 'old wives tale'?

I've never bought into that whole theory. Mostly because you can't 'catch' a cold outside. Germies thrive in warm environments, and can't live outside.

Having said that, I think the whole 'supressing your immune defenses' theory might be more of a reason why you may have caught the cold INSIDE, but you won't catch it outside. If there's no cold germs hanging out in your environment, going outdoors isn't going to make you any more susceptible to catching one unless you are exposed to a place where they are already living (inside).

Like kiddies at school. They go outside, lower their immune defenses by getting cold, then come inside where a plethora of lovely germies are just waiting to kick you when you're down.

The home-schooled kid who plays outside at home and there's no cold germs in his home environment is not going to be subjected to the germs cuz they simply aren't there for him to catch, regardless of the state of his immune system at the time.

And that's my logic, and I'm sticking to it.

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