Your Healthy Family: Debunking common winter medical myths - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Debunking common winter medical myths

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As we continue to deal with our current cold snap in southern Colorado, we're talking about a couple of common medical myths with Dr. Ian Tullberg urgent care medical director with UCHealth Memorial.

The first myth is when temperatures plunge you lose up to half of your body heat through your head.

Dr. Tullberg said that's not true: "You do have some more blood vessels in your head so you can lose a little more comparatively speaking, through your head than elsewhere but from your neck down you lose more heat that way than through the top of your head," he said.

That doesn't mean when it's cold that it's a not good idea to wear a warm hat in cold weather.

“Hats are always a good thing to protect your ears, but in terms of the heat loss, it's no more significant than anywhere else." Tullberg said. 

Our second myth is going outside in the cold with wet hair can give you a cold.

“That's an absolute myth," Dr. Tullberg said. "It's going to be a little cold out, some of us don't have to worry about having our hair wet when we go outside, it's not going to cause any kind of issue at all.”

There is a connection to being wet and cold and getting sick, but only in extreme situations. If you found yourself in one of those situations, it would be the last of your worries.

“The only time that when you are cold that you are more susceptible is when immune system starts shutting down in what's called hypothermia. That happens when your core body temperature starts dropping, and the temperature gets so low," Tullberg said. "Say you're in a frozen lake for a half hour, I'm not worried about a person catching a cold at that point, I'm worried about them living."

About the only real problem with wet hair in extreme cold is that it can freeze and literally break which would mean a trip to the hair salon and not the doctors office.

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