Harvard Health Blog

Join the discussion with experts from Harvard Health Publications and others like you on a variety of health topics, medical news and views.

What parents should know about tattoos

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Parents grappling with whether to allow an adolescent child to get a tattoo may find answers to some of their questions in a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Why does hair turn gray?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

It may be surprising to learn that hair does not “turn gray.” The reason for the loss of hair color is rooted in the cycle of hair growth, death, and regeneration.

A blog post on blog posts: Fact, fiction, and friction

Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS

Blogs can sometimes blend fact with opinion, so it’s important to know when a blog, even one written by a clinician, is an opinion. While clinicians operate with experience, some clinical advice can still spark healthy debate. And make sure the headlines you’re reading are not just sensationalized, which can easily happen in the non-medical media.

Feeling okay about feeling bad is good for your mental health

David R. Topor, PhD, MS-HPEd

A trio of studies investigated the connection between the ability to accept the negative emotions generated by stressful situations and a person’s long-term psychological health.

Lessons from a chronic pain management program

Laura Kiesel
Laura Kiesel, Contributor

Comprehensive programs for chronic pain involve a variety of components, from body mechanics to nutrition to occupational therapy and beyond. And while there is no easy fix for chronic pain, and sometimes no permanent fix at all, unexpected victories can be made in the search for answers.

How smart are you about car seats?

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

How much do you know about car seats, and the guidelines for their safe use in your car? Our quiz has the answers.

Too many pain pills after surgery: When good intentions go awry

Scott Weiner, MD
Scott Weiner, MD, Contributor

The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on lives. There are many factors behind this crisis, some of which may be surprising. A reasonable and well-intentioned effort to reduce and relieve pain can inadvertently lead to a potentially life-threatening addiction, but there are some surprisingly simple ways to avoid such scenarios.

Can getting quality sleep help prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Sleep gives the brain the opportunity to rid itself of proteins believed to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and now research is showing an association between poor sleep and the accumulation of those proteins.

Yoga could complement traditional treatment for depression

Marlynn Wei, MD, JD
Marlynn Wei, MD, JD, Contributing Editor

New research suggests that yoga may help with depression when used alongside traditional treatment. Evidence does not recommend any specific styles of yoga, so you can see which style fits best with you and your preferences. Yoga has also been shown to help those with mild depression, but more research is needed to be certain.

Food trends through the years: A mixed bag for heart health?

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

The urge to follow food trends is strong, but eating a low-carb or gluten-free diet may not be the best choice for cardiovascular health. And while trans fat is on its way to being eliminated from packaged foods, we still eat too much sugar and salt.