Fun \ Stump the Doc

Can a Wet Head Cause a Cold?

"Hey doc, can I really catch a cold if I go outside with a wet head?"

It sounds like you've been listening to your mother again. She probably warned you—don't go outside with a wet head, or you'll catch your death of cold!

Well, i hate to contradict dear old mom, but it's just not true.

Her other warning that you can catch a cold from going outside without your coat on— well, sorry mom— that one's not true, either.

Of course if you do head out without enough layers on, you won't necessarily catch a cold, but you'll probably feel pretty chilly.

A cold is actually caused by a virus, and in order to catch one, you need to be exposed to it.

Cold germs are spread into the air through droplets that are released when someone coughs or sneezes.

You can also catch a cold if you touch a surface that's been contaminated with cold germs and then touch your nose or mouth.

The best way to avoid a cold is to steer clear of anyone who has one.

And—this is important—by washing your hands. Often. You can't spread the germs if they're washed down the drain.

If you do catch a cold, there is one piece of mom's advice you should follow—cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze!

There's no point in passing it around any farther.

Think you can stump me? Go to our website and send us a question.

This entry last modified on: November 26, 2014 8:59 AM

Comments: (2)

The above is just not true. I have gone to bed without a shirt and woken with a cold. I have been outside on several occasions not dressed appropriately and end up with a cold.
Doctors that are book smart and young just don't cut it.

It is easier to catch a cold during the winter months because viruses and bacteria can survive better in colder climate. That's why your body raises the body temperature during times of infection, to destroy the infectious agents. Also, your nasal mucosa can dry out allowing these agents to get through this protective barrier more easily. There is no scientific basis or medical literate which has shown that you can catch a cold simply because you have your shirt off or your head of wet.

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About the Video

Can you really catch a cold by going outside with a wet head? Dr. Charlotte Grayson answers this germy question.


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