A doctor on TikTok said you shouldn’t take extremely hot showers, so we asked a dermatologist to explain

Mahyar Maddahali, a medical practitioner who focuses on vascular surgery, according to his site and known online as Dr. Max (@itsdrmax), recently made waves on TikTok after stitching a video of a couple explaining the difference between their ideal shower temperature.

In the video, a man shows that he likes the shower temperature significantly colder than his wife, who prefers extremely hot water. However, according to Dr. Max, showering with water that hot can be detrimental.

“If you’re taking excessively too-hot showers, this is for you,” he says in his post on Nov. 6. He says that natural oils meant to keep the skin moisturized can be washed off with too-hot showers. He also asserts that blood vessels can be dilated, which could lead to redness and irritation. Finally, Dr. Max said that people could potentially pass out if they expose themselves to extreme temperatures for too long.

Many commenters, who take hot showers themselves, were taken aback by Dr. Max’s post.

“We can’t ever enjoy anything,” commented @omg_bbq.

“Hot showers are the only thing in life I enjoy these days,” replied @vincenzo7698.

Dr. Teresa Song, board certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical, a New York City-based dermatology clinic, spoke with In The Know by Yahoo and elaborated on several of Dr. Max’s points.

“Extremely hot showers are not recommended, as it damages the skin barrier, and time limit should be as short as possible,” she said. “While it provides temporary relief for itching, it is not recommended for patients with dry skin, especially those with eczema or psoriasis. Hot showers can lead to dry and irritated skin while contributing to itch signals in the body by activating allergy cells.”

Hot vs. cold showers

Dr. Song also said that lukewarm and cold showers are much better than hot showers because they don’t break the skin barrier.

“Cold showers calm itchy skin, decrease stress hormones, and tighten the skin through vasoconstriction,” she said, referring to the narrowing of blood vessels. “It can help decrease swelling, pain and soreness. It does not affect the normal protective barrier of the skin, whereas hot water can often disrupt this protective surface.”

Even after hearing what Dr. Max had to say about hot showers, some commenters still wanted to stick to their shower routine.

“If it doesn’t feel like it’s flowing straight from hell then it’s not hot enough,” replied @makennamoffat.

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