Today, TikTok’s popularity continues to rise, especially among young people and adolescents. The social media giant enables people to showcase their creativity regardless of their age, gender, or background and has even pledged a $250 million kitty to global establishments that support education, healthcare, and social work.
TikTok’s support of creative content has turned it into an important learning platform. You can gain so much knowledge from the social networking app – from financial advice to social media safety, health, and wellness. The list is endless.
Although most of this knowledge is well-intentioned, there has been an influx of poorly researched quarantine boredom-induced health trends.
So, how do you differentiate between what is factual and what is not? Is that DIY health tip scientifically backed, or will it cause more harm than good?
This guide covers nine unhealthy TikTok trends that you should avoid. Let’s get right into it.
The TikTok Benadryl Challenge
The Benedryl Challenge first came into the limelight in August 2020 when a 15-year-old died from a Benadryl overdose. The challenge had asked TikTokers to take multiple doses of the drug to develop hallucinative responses. Following the death, the United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) quickly went ahead to warn people about Benedryl overdoses.
Benadryl is a common over-the-counter (OTC) medication used to treat allergies. Taking large unprescribed doses of the drug can cause heart problems and seizures. Parents are warned to keep these drugs out of their children’s reach to avoid such drug-related fatalities.
TikTok Mole Removal Trends
Another popular trend features TikTokers engaging in at-home mole removal. The problem with this trend is that at-home mole removal can cause bleeding, infections, deformities, and scarring in the affected areas.
The best way to remove a mole is to consult a dermatologist or a qualified doctor. Such specialists often use shaving and surgical cutting techniques to rid their patients’ skins of moles.
Therefore, if you have that itchy mole, or if you want to remove one to look better, at-home removal shouldn’t be an option.
DIY Teeth Whitening
Other TikTokers have advised social media users to use hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening.
The problem is that hydrogen peroxide is not a safe at-home teeth whitener. Although it is used to manufacture some professional tooth whitening products, excessive use can harm your health.
Hydrogen peroxide is highly reactive. When used as a self-administered teeth whitener, you must use only the required amounts. The chemical can damage your teeth if used for prolonged durations or in high concentrations.
If you are looking for an at-home way to whiten your teeth, go for reputable brands. Alternatively, you can talk to a dentist for professional services.
TikTok Skincare Trends
Skin tanning and “natural masks” on the face have also been trending on TikTok.
TikTokers have been applying sunscreen on certain sections of the face and leaving others to burn or tan. The process has been aimed at creating facial patterns for beauty purposes. The problem with this trend is that it exposes the skin to UV rays that can cause cancer in the tanned areas.
Other social media users have been encouraging the use of lemon and lime facial “natural masks.” Research indicates that when sunlight reaches excess citric acid from these lemons or limes, it predisposes users to phytophotodermatitis, popularly known as margarita burns.
Again, it is always advisable to visit a professional before getting into such TikTok skincare trends. You can also try over-the-counter masks or check out approved DIY face mask recipes.
The Frozen Honey TikTok Trend
For some TikTokers with a sweet tooth, freezing honey into a jelly-like ice pop has become the norm. Rather than getting an actual ice pop, some social media users prefer homemade “honey-pops” to satisfy their sugar craves.
Don’t get it wrong, honey is associated with several health benefits. For example, research shows that honey possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties, helps heal wounds quicker, eliminates coughs, and acts as a vital antioxidant.
However, honey should be consumed in moderation. Excessive use can lead to increased blood sugar, diarrhea, and low blood pressure.
Therefore, you should stay away from frozen honey blobs to protect your overall wellbeing. Only take honey in the recommended quantities.
Another TikTok trend has been using liquid chlorophyll from plants to boost immunity. Research shows that the moderate use of liquid chlorophyll can act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
However, that’s where the benefits stop.
When used in excess, liquid chlorophyll drops can cause mild gastrointestinal issues. Excess chlorophyll can also cause sunburns, predisposing you to age spots, premature wrinkling, and skin cancer.
You can always try out recommended antioxidant and anti-inflammatory solutions.
Pregnancy Tests and Morning-After Pills
One of the most bizarre TikTok health trends has been the assertion that there are traces of morning-after pills in Clearblue pregnancy kits.
Morning-after pills are commonly used as emergency solutions after having unprotected sex. (It is important to note that these drugs are inappropriate for birth control).
The company eventually came out to deny the allegations. According to ClearBlue, their pregnancy kits only contain a tiny desiccant tablet to help absorb moisture. It is important to add that this tablet should not be ingested as it can cause dire health consequences.
Toilet Licking Challenge
Another strange TikTok trend began when Ava Louise recorded herself licking a toilet bowl to raise awareness about the dangers of the coronavirus.
The aim was to discredit medical recommendations to hand wash and observe good hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus. A few weeks later, another TikToker named Larz tested positive for COVID-19 after doing the same “coronavirus challenge.”
Licking a toilet bowl is both bizarre and harmful. There are no health benefits whatsoever associated with such a challenge. Although the TikTokers involved were not doing it as an at-home remedy or health DIY, the process predisposed millions of users to infectious ailments. You can collect norovirus, streptococcus, E. coli, shigella, and staphylococcus by simply performing such a stunt.
Therefore, do not be fooled. Hand washing and observing good hygiene can protect you from contracting COVID-19. Always follow the guidelines.
Garlic Up the Nose
There are many health benefits of garlic, such as acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, treating athlete’s foot, clearing up your sin, and improving your overall health.
A recent TikTok trend implored people to push garlic cloves up the nose to help clear congestion. The viral video was inaccurate because garlic does not clear congested noses. Instead, garlic causes mucus to build, triggering a runny nose.
The perennial plant can also cause skin irritation.
Therefore, placing a clove up your nose can trigger nostril inflammation and consequent nasal congestion.
Although TikTok has become a leading source of knowledge and entertainment, always ensure that you fact-check any related health challenge before engaging. Fact checking can protect you from diseases and other negative health outcomes mentioned in this article.
At the end of the day, you are safer following guidelines from specialists than from TikTokers you know nothing about.
If you have any questions or concerns about your health, contact us for support. Binto offers high-quality supplements that can help alleviate some of the most annoying healthcare symptoms.
Click here to book a telehealth consultation from the comfort of your home with Binto’s women’s health providers.