Would lending your lip balm be risky for your health?

If lending your lip balm may seem normal and innocuous, this gesture would not be without health risks. Explanations.

There are those who lend their lip balm without any problem, those who categorically refuse and then those who do it reluctantly. This is particularly the case of Kate Middleton who would not have digested having “helped out” a little gloss to her sister-in-law Meghan Markle, a stick which would be at the heart of a big discord, according to the statements of the prince Harry.

An “awkward moment” recounted by Prince Harry in “Substitute”, his autobiography. The episode takes place behind the scenes at the Royal Foundation Forum in 2018, to which the two couples are invited. Meghan Markle; who has forgotten her lipstick, asks her sister-in-law Kate Middleton to lend hers.

“Kate, startled, reached into her bag and reluctantly pulled out a small tube. Meg squeezed some onto her finger and applied it to her lips. Kate winced,” Prince Harry recalled .

But although this practice is common, it would not be without danger to health. As explained by Dr Gérald Kierzek, medical director of Doctissimo, the followers would expose themselves to many risks. First of all, that of transmitting viruses, especially in this period of great cold when flu and Covid are raging in several French regions. Concretely, they could remain on certain surfaces for long periods of time.

“Theoretically, anything that is transmitted through saliva, such as viruses, can end up in the balm. Even if the flu and Covid are transmitted primarily through the respiratory route, it cannot be ruled out,” he explained while specifying that “infectious mononucleosis and hepatitis B” could also be transmitted through saliva. On the other hand, for those who are wondering, HIV is obviously not concerned.

Watch out for herpes, staphylococci

People who lend their lip balm could also transmit herpes or staphylococci if they have it. That is why, “as soon as there are the first signs, tingling, itching, we no longer lend our lip balm. Besides, we don’t use it at all, because the virus will lodge in the stick”, he added.

Note also that it is strongly advised to change your lip stick very regularly because its sticky texture would tend to trap viruses and bacteria. “The sticks don’t keep and quickly become breeding grounds for microbes. So even without lending it, we change it regularly, we don’t keep it from one season to the next, letting it melt and solidify several times. These are potential culture broths”, he concluded.

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