A hot topic that is constantly up for debate is whether or not being in the rain causes you to catch a cold. Although being wet for long periods of time may lower immune function, colds result from viruses, not rain. You may or may not believe that, but if you are like most people, you grew up hearing that you were going to get sick if you played outside in the rain. How truthful was that piece of wisdom and does it affect how you live your life? Do you need to avoid the rain in order to avoid sickness?
According to health experts, you may have a greater risk of getting sick after spending prolonged periods in the rain. The reality is simply more complex than the old saying goes. The body gets cold after prolonged exposure to rain, which can lower the effectiveness of your immune system. When your immune system is down, you are more likely to contract a cold virus, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a cold.
Does Being In The Rain Make You Catch A Cold?
A 2022 study found that being cold (lowering body temperature) can negatively affect the immune system. Although the rain itself won’t give you a cold, being wet outside for a long time weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of cold if you come in contact with certain viruses. As stated in the beginning of the article, though, colds happen because of viruses, not rain.
How Do You Catch A Cold?
There are over 200 viruses that can cause colds. They are contagious viruses that easily pass through the air or through close physical contact. Colds can also spread if a person touches their mouth, eyes, or nose with their hands after coming in contact with cold germs. Once you catch a cold, it is very hard to make it disappear, but there are things you can do to lessen the symptoms. Once you feel sick, keep the following tips in mind:
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid unnecessary touching of the eyes and mouth
- Wash your hands frequently
- Focus on whole food ingredients, not processed foods and dairy products
- Don’t share food, beverages, or household items with other people, or you may infect them
Can You Shorten A Cold?
If you catch a cold, there may be a few home remedies that can accelerate the recovery process. Some remedies work for some people, while others are more effective for other people. A lot of people resort to over-the-counter cold and flu medications, which can occasionally provide some relief. If you prefer not to take cold medications, consider the following home remedies to help kick your cold:
- Perform a saline rinse to clear your nasal passages
- Use a humidifier, or diffuser with essential oils that promote decongestion
- Drink lots of water, electrolytes, and herbal teas
- Gargle with salt water if you have a sore throat
- Make sure to get extra rest
Being out in the rain does not mean that you will contract one of the many viruses that can cause a common cold. If you are wet for a prolonged period, though, it may weaken immune function, making you more susceptible to a cold, should you encounter viruses. If you catch a cold, you don’t have to be alarmed. Most colds resolve themselves within one to two weeks, but notify your doctor if symptoms become severe or linger for more than a couple weeks.