Tuesday, December 5, 2023


FACT CHECK: Does wetting the head first while bathing cause stroke?

FACT CHECK: Does wetting the head first while bathing cause stroke?
October 28
09:28 2023

An article circulating online claims people often have strokes while in the bathroom because they are showering in the “wrong sequence” by wetting their heads first.

The article claims this sequence causes the blood to rise to the head quickly and then the arteries can be torn together, causing a stroke.

“According to multiple studies around the world, the cases of death or paralysis due to stroke during bath is increasing day by day. According to doctors, one should take a bath by following some rules while bathing,” the article reads.

“If you don’t take a bath following the right rules, you can die too.”


The circulating social media article adds that doctors advise against wetting the head first during bathing as it can accelerate blood circulation, potentially increasing the risk of stroke, particularly for those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or migraines.

The post recommends that bathing should start by soaking the feet, gradually moving upwards, and finally wetting the head.

Checks by TheCable revealed that the article has been shared online as far back as 2019, when a Facebook user, Mohammd Ullah, shared it on his profile.


The article was also shared in 2020 by another Facebook user, where the post garnered over 300 reactions, 170 shares and 65 comments.

Likewise, in 2021 and 2022, the article was shared several times.

In the past few weeks, the article began circulating again online, word for word and with the same featured image.



According to the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), a stroke occurs when the blood supply to parts of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In the process, parts of the brain become damaged or die. The CDC said stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.

TheCable visited several medical websites including the UK national health service, Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine, to identify risk factors that can cause a stroke.

Some of the things mentioned include high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, excessive alcohol intake, stress, age, family history, and ethnicity.

None of these medical websites mentioned a ‘wrong bathing sequence’ as a risk factor for stroke.



Omojowolo Olubunmi, a stroke physician and neurologist based in the UK, told TheCable that the claim is incorrect.


He explained that pouring water on the head primarily impacts the superficial blood vessels, causing them to either constrict or dilate based on the water’s temperature.

“However, stroke is not caused by those blood vessels. They are caused by deep-seated blood vessels in the brain. Those ones are not affected by water. So the claim does not have a scientific basis,” he said.


“Stroke doesn’t happen that way. There are specific reasons why stroke occurs. It has nothing to do with how you bathe, whether you put water in your head or leg first. It doesn’t change anything or have any relationship with it at all.

“Stroke is clearly caused by a recognised problem like hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, irregular heartbeats, some types of stroke are due to haemorrhages, that is, blood going into the brain.”



The claim that wetting the head first while bathing can lead to stroke is false. There is no scientific evidence to back up the claim.

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