When you have a fever, is it recommended to take a hot or cold shower? This doubt affects many people, and can lead to misguided attempts to lower body temperature. It’s important to know what doctors say, and to understand what causes a fever and how to stop it.
Fever is a part of the body’s overall immune system response, and is usually caused by an infection. Despite the discomfort, it is usually not a cause for concern, disappearing within a few days.
Body temperature varies slightly from person to person and at different times of the day. The average temperature has traditionally been defined as 37 °C. A temperature of 37.8ºC or more can already be considered a fever. Depending on what is causing the fever, other signs and symptoms may include:
- chills and chills
- Muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- general weakness
But then. Hot or cold bath? Ideally, don’t bet on either one! While a cold bath for a fever may seem like a good idea, by cooling the skin and inducing shivering, cold water can increase core body temperature, which is just the opposite of what is intended. With that, a hot bath with a fever is also not advisable!
The ideal, then, is to take a warm bath. Doctors suggest that the water should be at 32°C, and you should dry your hair properly after showering, as getting it wet can make the problem worse. But if you can’t shower right now, you can apply damp cloths to your forehead or wrists, which can help reduce a fever.
Source: Very Well Health, ABC Health & Wellbeing, Mayo Clinic
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