Harvard Health Blog

Harvard Health Blog: You’ll find posts from Harvard Medical School physicians and our editors on a variety of health news and issues.

Latest articles

Heavy metals in baby food? What parents should know and do

If there is anything you can trust to be safe, it should be baby food, right? Well… maybe not. A report from the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform says that commercial baby foods are tainted with dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Which baby food companies are involved? The report was based on information from just...

My COVID-19 vaccine story –– and what happened next

Like most healthcare workers, I was thrilled when I was eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I’ve been involved in COVID-19 patient care since the very start of the pandemic in the US, and I had seen what this virus can do to people. We all felt incredibly helpless against this incredibly contagious bug. With time, experience, and study, we’ve...

Acne: Considerations for darker skin

Acne affects millions of Americans each year and impacts people of all skin tones, yet acne can pose special challenges in people with darker skin. In darker skin, one pimple or breakout can cause dark marks, scars, or even keloids (scar tissue that continues to grow larger than the original scar) that last for months to years afterward. Those affected...

5 unusual headaches: Signs to watch for and what to do

Headaches come in lots of varieties, and some are easily recognizable. A migraine classically causes throbbing, pounding pain that lasts for hours — sometimes even days — on one side of the head. A tension headache usually feels like a tight band squeezing around your noggin. And a sinus headache shows up as pressure on one side of the face, behind...

Is crying good for you?

It’s safe to say that 2020 gave us more than enough to cry about. Yet even prior to last year, it seems that we were crying fairly often. Researchers note that, on average, American women cry 3.5 times each month, while American men cry about 1.9 times each month. These figures may take some of us by surprise, especially as our society has often looked...

New school guidelines around COVID-19: What parents need to know

We all want our children to be able to go back to school. What we don’t want is for them — or their teachers — to get sick from COVID-19. There is no easy, let alone perfect, solution, which is why, a year into the pandemic, there is no clear way forward. Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines to serve...

Grandparents and vaccines: Now what?

As COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the US, many grandparents — including one co-author of this blog post — are thrilled to hold out their arms for a jab. In some parts of the country, these vaccinations began as early as mid-January. By mid-February, legions of energized and relieved seniors were trading selfie shots of their newly vaccinated arms....

Seeking solace, finding resilience in a pandemic

In times like these, it can feel wrong to feel happy. There is so much suffering in the world that appreciating the goodness that still exists can seem unempathic, if not altogether futile. A landmark study on happiness often mentioned at dinner parties and social gatherings (when we had those things) considered how people react to intense, sudden changes...

Lowering cholesterol protects your heart and brain, regardless of your age

High or abnormal cholesterol levels, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction play a key role in atherosclerosis and plaque buildup, the most common cause of heart attacks and strokes. (Endothelial dysfunction refers to impaired functioning of the inner lining of blood vessels on the heart’s surface. It results in these vessels inappropriately narrowing...

Natural remedies for hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are painful, unpleasant, and, um, well, difficult to talk about. But they actually are quite common: about half of people over age 50 have had them. However, they’re easy to treat and manage. “Hemorrhoids can be troublesome and embarrassing, but they often shrink on their own with simple self-help care and over-the-counter remedies,” says...

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