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What is the best way to measure body temperature?

A rectal temperatures is an internal measurement taken in the rectum, and is slightly higher at 99.6 °F or 37.6 °C.  This is the best and most accurate measure of the body’s temperature.  A rectal temperature can be taken on individuals of all ages, but it may be uncomfortable.  Thus an oral temperature, measured with a thermometer placed under the tongue, is the most convenient and comfortable type of temperature measurement for adults.  A normal oral temperature is 98.6°F or 37.0 °C. This is the accepted standard temperature for the normal body temperature.  External measure of the body’s temperature such as axillary, tympanic membrane or skin temperatures are the least accurate and may take hours to reflect true changes in the body’s core temperature.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.