Alia Hoyt

Contributing Writer

Alia is an Atlanta-based freelance writer who has contributed content to HowStuffWorks for going on a decade now, with a specialty in health writing. She’s also been published by TLC, Animal Planet, and a number of corporate clients. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), and might someday get around to setting up a professional website. Until then, check her out on LinkedIn.

She and her husband are proud parents to three handsome, too-smart-for-their-own-good boys. Alia is a passably not terrible tennis player, lover of all things dance and music, brownie-obsessed, avid reader and off-key car singer. Her two favorite types of people are those who have a healthy sense of humor and those who actually read articles in their entirety before posting comments.

Recent Contributions

How Telemedicine Can Help You During COVID-19 and Beyond

Since the COVID-19 outbreak has people self-quarantining as much as possible, telemedicine has become a big alternative. But if you've never done it before, what can you expect?

Nematodes: Do We Still Need to Worry About Roundworms and Bare Feet?

When you were a kid, your mom probably told you not to go around barefoot because you could get worms. But are nematodes still a problem today?

Feel Like a Fraud, Despite Your Success? You Might Have Impostor Syndrome

Perhaps everyone feels unworthy of their achievements at some point. But if you constantly have that feeling, you may have impostor syndrome. So, who's more likely to have it and how do you cope with it?

Why Is It So Hard to Make a Universal Flu Vaccine?

Every year, a version of the flu vaccine must be developed, to compensate for the changes in the flu virus the year before. Will we ever have a one-and-done flu vaccine?

Why Hand-washing Beats Hand Sanitizer Hands Down!

Put down the sanitizer and get out the soap! Health experts say washing with soap and water gets more germs off your hands than using the alcohol-based stuff. But why?

Oil Diffusers Make Your House Smell Great, but Are They Safe?

Burning some essential oils around your home may make it smell really nice. But could there be some side effects you should be worried about?

Comma vs. Colon: Take Our Punctuation Quiz!

Punctuation can really make or break a sentence. Test your knowledge of basic (and not-so-basic) punctuation conventions by taking this quiz!

Are You a Grammar Geek? Take Our Quiz!

We all learned about grammar in grade school, but some of us retained the knowledge better than others. Test your knowledge of the finer points of English with our quiz.

Can a Vision Board Really Affect Your Future?

Some people swear by vision boards for making their dreams come true. But is there any science to back them up?

Americans Rely on a Patchwork of Options to Pay for Elder Health Care

Medicare only covers so much. Health care costs can be very high for seniors in the U.S., even with this coverage. We look at two real-life situations to find out how people are coping.

Why Frederick Douglass Was the Father of the Civil Rights Movement

Frederick Douglass spent the first 15 years of his life as a slave but rose to become a famous orator and abolitionist – as well as the most photographed American of the 19th century.

Should You Pop Your Blisters?

It's so gross-looking you're really tempted to prick it and let out the ooze. But what would a doctor say?

How to Succeed at Intermittent Fasting

Your friends might be talking up this way of eating and have you curious as to whether it may work for you. We talk to the experts to find out, as well as give you our personal experience.

6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

Some foods have been linked with making the body less inflamed. But what is inflammation anyway and how can food make it better?

How to Get the Best Deal on Your Mortgage Refinance

Mortgage refinance rates can vary from lender to lender. So, how do you know that you've got the best rate you can?

5 Questions to Ask Before You Refinance Your Mortgage

"How low will my new interest rate be?" is not the only question to ask before you refinance your mortgage. Here are five others you should think about.

When Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Refinancing your mortgage may be a great way to lower your monthly bills, but you need to keep these points in mind.

Can You Refinance Your Mortgage With Bad Credit?

You'd like to take advantage of the low interest rates out there to refinance your mortgage, but your credit is less than stellar. Is it worth even trying to refinance?

Pros and Cons of a Cash-out Mortgage Refinance

Need some extra cash to take care of some debts? You could tap into your home equity through a cash-out mortgage refinance. But what are the pros and cons?

Can't Read Roman Numerals? We Can Teach You

And it'll take XIV minutes flat.