'This Is Really Horrifying': Doctors Share Worst Home Remedies In Viral Thread

Internet users were left aghast after thousands of medical professionals shared horror stories about the worst "home remedies" they have ever seen in a viral thread.

Initially posted on Reddit's r/AskReddit, the platform's third-largest subreddit, the now-deleted thread received over 18.5K votes and 7.7K comments in just twelve hours. Posted with a clear NSFW tag, the thread's original post inspired thousands of gruesome responses and was posed as a question to the "doctors of Reddit."

"Doctors of Reddit, what 'Home Remedy' has a patient tried that backfired in the worst way possible?," the thread's author asked.

Many of the thread's top responses include unthinkable medical mistakes resulting in everything from "crumbling" teeth, to organ failure, to an ear full of alcohol and cigarette ash. Redditors responding to the medical professionals were shocked at the majority of stories included throughout the thread, and raised questions about when people should seek proper medical attention.

Since the start of the ongoing global pandemic, the conversation surrounding when to seek medical attention has grown, and the Center for Disease Control has released strict guidelines when patients battling COVID-19 should go to the hospital or another emergency care facility. Although information about when to seek medical attention due to complications from coronavirus has become more accessible, there are fewer guidelines for when to involve medical professionals during other emergencies.

Bleach home remedies
Multiple doctors said they have treated patients who ruined their teeth by using household bleach as a whitener. Andres Victorero/iStock / Getty Images Plus

According to Scripps, specific symptoms can indicate which level of attention certain medical issues require. Distinguishing between walk-in clinics, urgent care centers, and emergency rooms, Scripps encourages patients to seek different levels of medical attention based on a myriad of symptoms.

While symptoms like ear pain or a rash without a fever may only require a patient to visit a walk-in clinic, Scripps reports symptoms like chest pain, cuts or lacerations, and serious burns warrant a trip to the emergency room.

However, many of the doctors who responded to the viral Reddit post said patients often cause problems for themselves without the presence of any symptoms at all, and revealed the extent that some people go to "fix" perceived medical issues.

In the post's top comment, Redditor u/hctive received over 20.4K votes and kicked off a series of "home remedies" and their grisly consequences.

"Tooth whitening with bleach/baking soda mix," they wrote. "Repeatedly. Teeth were white. And chalky. And you could crumble them with fingers."

Following u/hctive, Redditor u/OscarDivine said that they are an eye doctor. At the beginning of the pandemic, they said that they treated a patient with a pair of burned retinas — a result of prolonged staring at the sun.

"He read somewhere that Vitamin D was good for resisting COVID," u/OscarDivine wrote. "He thought he would 'collect' as much sunlight as he could with his eyes."

"He has Solar Retinopathy now and permanently reduced vision with no chance at improvement," they added.

u/Dalaik, who said they work in an emergency room, recounted a bizarre experience with a patient who attempted to treat their severe ear infection with a medley of home remedies. Explaining that the patient's ear "was a real mess," u/Dalaik said they were stunned when they asked them exactly what they had done to attempt to treat the infection.

"He told me that first he stuck some minced garlic, then he poured alcohol into it and then he shoved a cigarette which, obviously, didn't get very far but still managed to burn him quite a bit," they wrote.

Amid countless other stories of people compromising their teeth and vital organs, one physical therapist said that their older patients make jokes about needing lubricant for their "creaky and arthritic joints," but revealed that one patient took it a step further than the rest.

"Had another patient make this joke a few years ago," they wrote. "He then leaned in real close and said 'but sometimes I really spray some WD-40 on my knee and rub it in and it helps!'"