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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Why do different parts of the body have different temperatures?

Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3549 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 18 Oct 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Why is my temperature almost consistently hotter (by almost a degree!) on the left side versus the right when I measure my temperature via forehead and ear? Which measurement do I use, or do I take the average? Is it normal to have different temperatures? Is it because I sleep on my left side, and so that insulation lingers? Do I just need to go back to oral thermometers? Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 57 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Variability is common.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Some variability in temperature measurements is expected.
Measuring the temperature in the forehead or ear may present different problems that measure it in the armpit or the mouth.
My suggestion for you is to use a thermometer for the armpit to double-check your temperature. If your armpit is not wet or inflamed then this measurement usually has an adequate level of accuracy.

I can't say why you keep getting different temperatures between the sides. If there are visible signs like redness, etc, then this could explain it. Otherwise, I can't say anything more... Just use another site for measurement.

Hope I have answered your query.
Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis,
Internal Medicine Specialist

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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