Medical Myths


March 8, 2019

Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?

Apple on white plate

“An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” Most of us have heard this popular health tidbit at least once in our lives. But, is this advice too good to be true? UAMS family physician Dr. Daniel Knight explains that apples are a good source of fiber, are helpful for keeping good colon health,…


Can your toothbrush make you sick?

Woman brushing teeth while staring into a mirror

What has tiny bristles, lives in your bathroom and can house five of the nastiest germs, including the flu virus? If you guessed your toothbrush, you’re correct. According to researchers, there can be as many as 1.2 million bacteria on a single toothbrush. Also, a New York State Dental Journal found that 70% of used…


Is a migraine just a really bad headache?

Woman with hand to head wincing in pain

Migraines affect an estimated 28 million Americans, with 35% experiencing one to four migraine attacks per month, according to the National Headache Foundation. Because migraines are so common, many people have come to believe that they are just bad headaches — just a normal part of life. Migraines are considered intense headaches that can put…


Does pulling one gray hair cause more to grow in its place?

For those of you who have plucked those pesky gray hairs from your head, you don’t have to fear that they are coming back with a vengeance. The idea that pulling a gray hair will cause 10 more to grow in its place is simply not true. If you’re not convinced, let UAMS family and…


Does a ‘base’ tan protect you from sunburn?

People sun bathing at the beach

Do you like to get your skin beach-ready before vacation? If so, you’re not the only one. Many people like to hop in the tanning bed before they hit the beach or pool, hoping that a “base” tan can prevent a painful sunburn. Unfortunately, this ritual is like fighting fire with fire. According to the…


Can holding in a sneeze cause hearing damage?

Can holding in a sneeze cause hearing damage? Did you know that when you sneeze, 100,000 germs fly out of your nasal canal at approximately 100 miles per hour? So, it’s easy to understand why many people try to muffle those annoying “ahhh-choos” in public. Whether you hold a sneeze by pinching your nose or…


Do people shrink as they age?

Do people shrink as they age? Vision, hearing, memory and hair are just a few things that tend to disappear as the candles increase on our birthday cake. Unfortunately, height can be added to this list. In fact, we can begin shrinking as early as our 30s, according to some research. Men can gradually lose…


Is it safe to follow the 'five-second rule?'

Is it safe to follow the ‘five-second rule?’ You are about to enjoy a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie right from the oven when it’s intercepted by the cabinet door and falls to the kitchen floor. That’s when the “five-second rule” comes into play. If it has been on the floor for less than five…


Can wearing an underwire bra cause breast cancer?

Can wearing an underwire bra cause breast cancer? The claim that bra-wearing can put women at serious risk for breast cancer has been around for almost 20 years. Does this idea hold any truth? Dr. Laura Hutchins, a UAMS medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer, says that there is not enough evidence to support…


Do only athletes get athlete’s foot?

Do only athletes get athlete’s foot? It seems logical that athlete’s foot would only affect athletes, right? But, you might be surprised to find out that you don’t have to be athletic to catch this infection. It’s true that athletes are more prone to athlete’s foot, a fungus that likes to grow in between the…



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