What NOT to do when you have a sore throat

by - July 05, 2019


Suffering from a sore throat (pharyngitis1 and tonsillitis) is a downer, there’s no doubt about that. What usually starts as minor itch and a bit of scratchiness at the back of your throat can end up being extremely painful, throbbing, and sensitive in just a matter of days without proper medication.


But what causes sore throat, you ask? In most cases, it can be traced back to a specific virus. Almost 85% of sore throats are caused by viruses2, which means you’ll often get other symptoms like a runny nose or aches and pains just like you’d get with a cold1 when you suffer from a sore throat.

Whatever the cause of your sore throat might be, the first concern of most people is to ease the pain. But heads up! Instead of being better, you might be making it worse with these habits that you need to stop right now!

Eating cold food and consuming cold liquid

While consuming cold food and beverages may help eliminate the discomfort of sore throat, it doesn’t stop your condition from getting worse, in fact, it may even aggravate it. Most cold food and drinks that are dairy-based such as ice cream, milkshakes, and yoghurts should be avoided because it only thickens the mucus and may eventually make your sore throat more terrible.

Taking antibiotics

Antibiotics fight bacteria, but most of the time, sore throat is caused by viruses, so antibiotics are not going to work.* Taking up antibiotics when not needed may lead to antibiotic resistance3.

Gargling with a regular mouthwash

A regular mouthwash is only effective in removing food debris in your mouth and does not help in killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Most mouthwashes which claim to have antibacterial properties may not suffice as well. So when treating sore throat it’s important to reach for an oral gargle that is clinically proven to address the root of the problem quickly.

Munching on marshmallows

There’s this internet urban legend that marshmallows can help treat sore throat, but you know what? This legend is full of hot air. Those fluffy, sweet treats do not contain anything that can treat your sore throat. Made up of sugar, water, and gelatin, marshmallows are quite easy to swallow, but that does not mean that it does you any good. Sugar is a super acidic food that causes an imbalance in your body’s acid-base. Pathogens (infectious agents) love an acidic environment and thrive on such imbalances in the body. You don’t want your body, much more your throat, to be a hangout place of viruses and bacteria, do you?

Trying out various home remedies

Most often than not, self-medication will not make your sore throat go away. It can just soothe your sore throat or provide relief for your discomfort for some time, but not prevent it from getting worse. So as soon as you experience the first signs of sore throat, use clinically-proven products that can help kill viruses quickly.

Temporary relief

Trying currently available over-the-counter throat lozenges can gently numb the tissues in your throat but this temporary relief from pain and burning won’t last long. Though it can keep your throat lubricated, it won’t be an effective treatment for your sore throat and you might find yourself needing relief soon again.



The moment you feel an itch on your throat, don’t let it get worse. Help stop sore throat fast with antiseptic products that can kill 99.99% of viruses, the root cause of sore throat. Povidone-Iodine (BETADINE®) Throat Spray is your on-the-go buddy for a convenient all-day** sore throat relief for the people on the move, while Povidone-Iodine (BETADINE®) Oral Gargle can be used at home. The active ingredient of BETADINE® oral antiseptic, povidone-iodine, kills viruses in as early as 15 seconds, as well as bacteria and fungi4-7.

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