8 TikTok Health Trends to Skip

Health trends make up some of the most popular TikTok videos. Many health tips are viewed as viral, but there are a few that are downright dangerous.

Here are eight TikTok health trends our expert says you should avoid.

1. Mouth taping

Hack: Closing your mouth while you sleep can improve snoring and reduce bad breath.

Why you should avoid: Although nose breathing has many benefits, doctors do not use this method to treat sleep disorders or other ailments. “Mouth taping can block breathing, disrupt sleep, or cause skin irritation,” says family physician Timothy Woo, MD. “If you have trouble breathing through your nose at night, talk to your doctor about safe treatment options.”

2. Vabbing

Hack: By using vaginal fluids as perfume, your body’s natural pheromones can more easily attract potential mates.

Why you should avoid: This is unsightly and can cause bad body odor which has the opposite effect of attraction. There is still much debate about whether humans have pheromones, and the sense of detecting such scents in mammals (called the vomeronasal organ) does not work at all in humans.

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3. Garlic your nose

Hack: Place a clove of raw garlic on your nose to clear your congestion.

Why you should avoid: It can make the problem worse. The smell of garlic irritates your nose, so it causes your nose to produce more mucus than you already have. “If a small piece gets lodged in your nose, it can also lead to other problems, such as a rash or infection in your nose,” says Dr. Wuwu.

4. Slime fishing

Hack: Remove mucus from your eyes with your finger or a cotton swab.

Why you should avoid: Clearing the mucus from your eyes causes the mucus to come back in larger amounts. “While the mucus is meant to protect the eye, constant removal can expose your eye to infection and trauma due to the process of fishing with your finger or other equipment,” says Dr. Wuu.

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5. Lemon coffee for weight loss

Hack: Add lemon to your coffee to burn fat.

Why you should avoid: This health trend isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it does taste terrible and doesn’t work. There is no evidence that lemons in your coffee will burn fat.

6. Dry scooping before a workout

Hack: Consume a scoop of liquid-free dry pre-workout protein powder before a workout to help your body absorb the powder faster and give you a better workout.

Why you should avoid: This is extremely dangerous. Breathing difficulties and even heart failure can occur. “This powder is designed to be consumed at a slower rate through liquid,” says Dr. Wuu. “Trying to speed up this process can have dire consequences.”

7. Sunscreen Contouring

Hack: Place sunscreen strategically on the face to create contoured tan lines. This allows you to skip your contour makeup.

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Why you should avoid: This poses a risk to your skin. “Any tan means your skin is damaged,” says Dr. Wuu. “Plus, you can’t really control how the sun hits your face so you can’t really achieve the contouring effect with this technique.”

8. Boiled chicken in cold medicine

Hack: Cook the chicken in a cold medicine like NyQuil.

Why you should avoid: Boiling a drug can make it more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don’t eat chicken, inhaling the vapors of the drugs while cooking can enter your body at high levels of drugs that can damage your lungs.

Next steps and resources:

Materials provided through HealthU are intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your doctor for personal care.

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