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Experts Weigh in on Value of Social Media Hacks – Legal Reader

Experts discuss pros and cons of online health fads.

In the era of social media, wellness trends and health hacks often take center stage. From teeth-whitening techniques to skincare solutions, these trends can both captivate and confuse. But do these viral health hacks truly help, or do they pose hidden risks? To unravel the complexities of this digital landscape, we turn to experts who offer insight into the do’s and don’ts behind some of these trends.
Whitney DiFoggio, a registered dental hygienist known as “Teeth Talk Girl,” embarked on a mission to counteract misleading dental trends circulating online. She’s encountered a multitude of unconventional methods, including charcoal toothpaste, brushing with purple toothpaste, and using turmeric for teeth whitening. DiFoggio debunks these trends with professional insight.
While charcoal toothpaste may seem enticing, DiFoggio cautions against its use, as it can be abrasive for tooth enamel. She advises exploring safer alternatives for achieving a brighter smile. Brushing with purple toothpaste, despite its popularity on TikTok, is dismissed as a gimmick by DiFoggio who underscores the importance of relying on credible dental guidance. The notion of using turmeric for teeth whitening is challenged by DiFoggio, referencing the American Dental Association’s stance that spices lack evidence for whitening teeth. She emphasizes the importance of evidence-based dental practices.
DiFoggio also revealed the potential harm in swishing with apple cider vinegar, highlighting its role in increasing cavities and enamel erosion due to its acidic nature. Instead of all of these fad options, DiFoggio recommends using white strips, particularly those containing peroxide and bearing the American Dental Association’s seal of acceptance. She views them as an effective and safe choice for teeth whitening, with affordability as a significant advantage.
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Dr. Megha Trivedi, a dermatologist at RUSH University Medical Center, assesses the efficacy of pimple patches in treating mosquito bites. While hydrocolloid patches can promote healing for such bumps, Dr. Trivedi clarifies that they don’t alleviate itching, which can be addressed with over-the-counter hydrocortisone.
Dr. Michael Brown, a gastroenterologist at RUSH, explores the trend of consuming liquid chlorophyll for enhanced digestion. While more research is needed, preliminary findings suggest its potential benefits. Dr. Brown notes its safety profile but highlights possible side effects like nausea and diarrhea. He suggests that liquid chlorophyll could be beneficial for some individuals.
Dr. Brown cautions against blindly following health trends from social media, emphasizing the importance of discernment. While some trends may offer benefits, others can be unsafe. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before embarking on any health hack seen online.
When it comes to social media, while some may provide genuine benefits, others may be founded on misinformation or present hidden risks. The wisdom of experts serves as a guiding light, reminding us to seek credible advice and prioritize our health above viral trends.
Sources:
Do ‘health hacks’ you see on social media help or hurt? Experts weigh in
Communicating Health to Young Adults Using Social Media: How, Where, and When?
Dangers and Benefits of Social Media on E-Professionalism of Health Care Professionals: Scoping Review
The emerging use of social media for health-related purposes in low and middle-income countries: A scoping review. 

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