A nephrologist’s viral videos have made quite a splash on TikTok lately, claiming one particular bathroom habit might be the cause of your bad breakouts. But how reliable is the claim?
First of all, if you’re wondering what a nephrologist is, and whether they’re qualified to dish out skincare advice, you’re not alone. Specialising in the study and care of kidneys, Dr Daria Sadovskaya, a nephrologist of seven years, has made quite a splash on TikTok lately.
Amongst her attention-grabbing video titles and captions, such as ‘Eat these five foods every day and get cancer’, or ‘Oral sex is the number one cause of throat cancer’, is one that is making the rounds on plenty of for you pages.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
Dr Sadovskaya has published several videos claiming one particular bathroom habit might be the cause of your bad breakouts, urging her viewers to tie up their locks every time they sit on the toilet.
“I know it sounds crazy, but it is true, pooping with your hair down is one of the most common acne cause,” one caption reads.
So what’s the reasoning behind a toilet up-do?
While it may seem far-fetched, Dr Sadovskaya attributes stubborn forehead acne to the airborne bacteria picked up by your hair strands during your visits to the toilet.
“When you poop, all the bacteria spread from the stool to the bathroom and on your hair first. When your hair is down, it rubs against the skin on your face and transmits all the germs to your face,” she says in one video. “It can cause breakouts and irritation that most commonly appears on the forehead.”
However, while her claims are certainly making waves on TikTok, some experts are less than convinced. Dr Joshua Zeichner, associate professor of dermatology says Dr Sadovskaya’s videos lack supportive evidence.
“Theoretically, if you are straining on the toilet for an extended period of time, and oily hair is rubbing against the face… it may contribute to blocked pores,” Dr Zeichner tells Huff Post.
“However, there is no greater risk for this whether you are sitting on the toilet or the couch watching TV with your hair down and over your face,” he adds.
And while there’s no shortage of experts and viewers openly criticising the nephrologist’s videos, when asked about her booming online presence, the viral doctor makes one thing clear.
„I’m always happy to be useful for my audience, although I don’t diagnose and don’t give medical advice online,“ she says.
Backlash from the TikTok community
The hairy claim is just one amongst a list of tiny habits the nephrologist says can greatly affect our health. Others, such as the dangers of swimming while wearing a tampon, appear to be nothing more than baseless claims with no further explanation, filling her video comments with outrage.
“Someone needs to take away her licence,” says one commenter in response to a particularly controversial TikTok, linking oral sex and eating oranges to throat cancer and skin cancer respectively.
“It’s crazy how I’m pooping right now… with my hair down,” writes another commenter, summing up the sheer irony of posting such videos to an audience that is infamous for having their phones accompany them through every activity.
Another simply laments the constantly changing health standards and advice, “We can’t do anything right.”
Whether the viral TikTok doctor is truly on the cusp of lifesaving medical discoveries, or her videos are nothing more than fear-mongering campaigns to catapult her into the algorithms of unsuspecting viewers, it’s important to remember that no medical advice given indirectly over social media should be taken as unchallenged fact.