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Old 12 July 2011, 05:46 AM
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Crash Vinegar socks reduce fever

Comment: My wife claims that soaking a pair of sock in vinegar and wearing
them can reduce a temperature generated by fever. I've searched online
and she is by no means alone in thinking that applying vinegar
to the skin by one means or another has this effect. I have, however, been
unsuccessful in finding anything either supporting or debunking this
contention from a scientific perspective.

Can you help - does this *really* work, or are the perceived benefits
co-incidental?
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Old 12 July 2011, 03:23 PM
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Oh, yes, it will work. So will soaking the socks in rubbing (or drinking, but why waste it) alcohol or just plain water. Or just dabbing with water on the skin. All for the same reason - small molecules evaporating into the air carry away heat. Water, simple alcohols, and acetic acid all evaporate and in so doing cool.

The socks would help compared to just getting the skin wet in that they hold more wet stuff than skin does, so the cooling would last longer. A wet t-shirt would be great for the job, too, but you might want to just wet the front, so you don't get your mattress or couch soaked. A wet washcloth laid flat on any part of the body also does the trick.
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