Can You Take a Shower When You Have a Fever?

Estimated read time 3 min read

Many people doubt whether it is okay to take a shower when they have a fever for fear of making their condition worse. So, is it okay to take a shower when you’re sick? Find out the full answer in this article.

What happens when your body has a fever

Fever is actually not a disease, but a common symptom of various underlying diseases. Fever is characterized by increased body temperature , chills, headache, weakness, and muscle or joint pain .

Fever is the result of an inflammatory process in the body, when the immune system is fighting infection. This inflammatory process then releases special chemical compounds to be carried to the hypothalamus via the bloodstream. The hypothalamus is a structure in the brain that functions to regulate body temperature.

In the hypothalamus, these chemical compounds will make the body temperature higher (heat). Because of the presence of these compounds, the body mistakenly assumes that the normal body temperature is the hot one. Well, this is the cause of your fever.

In infants and children, fever usually appears when the body temperature is more than 37 degrees Celsius. While in adults, fever usually appears when the body temperature reaches 38 to 39 degrees Celsius.

Safe rules for bathing when sick with fever

People who are sick with fever are allowed to take a bath. The reason is, bathing is not related to the fever process itself. Even if possible, you are still advised to shower twice a day to maintain body hygiene. Not only that, basically bathing when sick is still recommended because it can prevent you from getting other infections.

What you need to pay attention to is the temperature of the water. Maybe you think that cold water can provide comfort to the body that is “hot”. However, doctors and health workers around the world do not recommend taking cold showers when you are sick or when you are not fit. This can actually make your condition worse.

Body heat due to fever is a natural instinct needed by the body to defend itself. If you take a cold shower, your body will perceive it as a threat to your infection-fighting process. As a result, the body will increase its temperature and the fever will get worse. The reason is, cold water works to close the pores so that it inhibits the transfer of body temperature.

In addition, taking a cold shower is also at risk of lowering body temperature suddenly. This will trigger the body to shiver. Therefore, you should avoid taking cold showers when you are sick.

Therefore, in a hot body condition you are advised to use warm (lukewarm) water to equalize the body temperature.
Tips for taking care of yourself during a fever

If after bathing you still feel uncomfortable or feel that your body temperature is increasing, you can take painkillers ( acetaminophen , ibuprofen , or aspirin ) to relieve the symptoms. Follow your doctor’s instructions or read the package label for the correct dose. Not only that, you also have to be careful not to use more than one medicine that contains acetaminophen, such as cough and cold medicines.

Call your doctor immediately if your condition does not improve for more than 3 days and your body temperature reaches 39 degrees celsius or more.

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