Should kids pick their nose? Eat dirt? Avoid antibacterial soap? A dermatologist in Denver who treats people with allergies and autoimmune disorders says definitely “yes!” Believing our world is becoming much too sanitized, Dr. Meg Lemon advises that our immune system is not getting a good workout, and we are therefore more susceptible to allergens. Research going back as far as 1872 agrees with the hypothesis that when the immune system is not properly trained it overreacts and develops allergies, or in other words, chronic immune system attacks.
By Matt Richtel, March 12, 2019
Excerpted from “An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System,” published on Tuesday by William Morrow.
Should you pick your nose?
Don’t laugh. Scientifically, it’s an interesting question.
Should your children pick their noses? Should your children eat dirt? Maybe: Your body needs to know what immune challenges lurk in the immediate environment.
Should you use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers? No. Are we taking too many antibiotics? Yes.