The latest TikTok trend physicians are warning against

Drinking water laced with borax or bathing in it is the latest medical TikTok trend physicians are up against, NBC News reported July 22. 

Borax is banned in U.S. food products, but claims by social media influencers that adding a pinch of the powdery substance to water or soaking in the bath with it helps reduce inflammation and eases joint pain have gained steam. According to NBC News, videos that made such claims posted by several influencers with hundreds of thousands of TikTok followers have since been taken down.

"There's really nothing to support the use of borax in humans for inflammation or reduction of oxidative stress or anything like that," Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, a toxicology physician and co-medical director of the National Capital Poison Center, told the news outlet. 

Consuming borax can cause stomach irritation and over time, it could lead to anemia and seizures. Soaking in it could lead to serious skin rashes. Dr. Johnson-Arbor said she debunks viral social media health trends at least twice per month. 

In recent years, emergency departments have seen an uptick in children and teens needing emergency care after attempting risky or dangerous behaviors tied to viral social media challenges. Read more about the rise in dangerous online trends here

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