Fact or Myth?

My mother was always telling me to “put your coat on or you’ll catch a cold!” anytime I was heading out the door when it was cold outside. I couldn’t help but think of this advice as I was visiting an outdoor shopping mall recently. The temperature was a brisk 35 degrees Fahrenheit as I watched a young gentleman walking about in shorts and a sweatshirt. No coat. And shorts … really?  Aside from that fact that I would never expose anyone to my brutally white “winter legs ”  I am just not someone who gets the concept of shorts in January.  For me,  “shorts season” starts in June and ends in September. Period.
So I got to thinking … could this guy’s lack of seasonal clothing sense really make him sick? Or is this just an “old wives tale”?

Well, it turns out that as well-intentioned as my mother was, it does not appear that there is any evidence to back up her advice.  To catch a cold you need exposure to a good old-fashioned virus. However, in my mother’s defense, there are some correlations to cold weather and catching colds.

In the winter, we tend to spend much more time indoors and in closer proximity to others who may be sick or carrying a cold virus. The closer we are the chances are higher that their virus will somehow make it’s way into our mouth, nose or eyes.

Cold weather can also dry out the lining of our noses (especially here in Colorado!) which will leave us more vulnerable to infection.  Additionally, some research also suggests that prolonged exposure to the cold may suppress our immune systems.

So the question remains, “Do we bundle up before heading outside this winter?”  I still vote “yes”.  But it would seem that practicing some common sense in other areas is equally important.

  • Wash your hands…thoroughly and often!  Wash with warm soapy water and gently scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid getting too close to those you know are sick or who could potentially be sick.
  • Keep surfaces clean by regularly disinfecting them with wipes or spray.
  • Remind yourself to drink lots of water.
  • Get plenty of rest and try to keep your stress at bay.  Allow yourself some time to take a breath.  Being stressed and run-down can weaken our immune systems. The weaker our immune system, the more susceptible we are to illness.

At ClearSpring Pharmacy we have what you need to help in your quest to stay healthy!

  • Supplements
  • Nasal Rinses
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Chap Stick
  • Hand Lotion (remember, we are washing our hands often!)

Stop by anytime at either our Cherry Creek or Littleton locations.  We have a friendly and knowledgeable staff that can help you with all of your pharmacy needs.  Weather you need a compounded medication, a traditional prescription or an over-the-counter remedy, we have you covered!

You can also visit us online at:  www.clearspringrx.com