Skyrim: Here’s Why Everyone Keeps Saying You Are Sick

Skyrim Why Does Everyone Keep Saying You Are Sick

Adventuring is a difficult job and sometimes it can make you worse for the wear. Taking down wild animals, stepping on rusty traps, and bumping heads with the undead can leave you in a weakened state, long after you return to the nearest city to sell your loot. People will often comment on your physical state, telling you that you look sick and a bit under the weather. But why does this happen? Why does everyone keep saying you’re sick in Skyrim?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • NPCs in Skyrim keep saying that you look sick because you contracted a disease.
  • There are 8 diseases you can contract in the base game, and 4 additional if you play in Survival mode.
  • Every disease has a unique debuff that preserver until you have dealt with the disease.
  • If you’re playing in Survival mode, if left untreated diseases can progress to their severe form making you extremely weak.
  • You can cure yourself of any disease by praying on a shrine, eating garlic bread, or drinking a potion of cure disease.

Can you get diseases in Skyrim?

You can get diseases in Skyrim while you’re adventuring, fighting various undead, and wild animals, stepping on rusty traps, or even fighting with vampires. In the base game, 8 diseases have been implemented, every disease applies to you a crippling debuff that makes you significantly weaker until you have dealt with the disease. The effect is the same no matter how long you have been infected with the disease. No matter how high of a level you are, you are certainly going to notice how much weaker or slower you are because the disease scales with you.

bear trap

If you’re playing in Survival mode, there’s a twist however as it’s possible for every disease to progress through 3 stages. Those 3 stages are: normal, severe, and crippling. The disease usually progresses from severe to crippling in 24 hours and at that point, you are severely affected but whatever adverse effect affects you at the moment.

For example, if you have contracted Ataxia from skeevers at the beginning you’re going to have a hard time picking locks and pockets as the skills are decreased by 25 points. When the disease progresses to its severe form picking locks and pockets is 50 % harder, by the time you reach the crippling state, picking locks and pockets is 75% harder.

AtaxiaPicking locks and picking pockets is 25% harder.Skeevers and traps
Bone Break FeverDrains 25 points from Stamina.Bears and traps
Brain RotDrains 25 points from Magicka.Hagravens, traps, and zombies
DroopsOne-handed and two-handed weapon damage is 15% lower.Ash Hoppers
RattlesStamina regenerates 50% more slowly.Chaurus and traps
RockjointYou are 25% less effective with melee weapons.Fox, wolves, traps
Sanguinare VampirisReduces Health by 25. Progresses to Vampirism.Vampires
WitbaneMagicka regenerates 50% more slowly.Traps


Survival mode also added 4 additional diseases you need to be careful about:

Brown RotLight and Heavy Armor prevents 25% less damage. Sleeping is 25% less restful.Black, brown, and snow bears
Food PoisoningMagicka and Stamina recover 50% slower, and food no longer restores Health for 3 days.
Argonians and Khajiit are immune to this disease.
Raw meat
GreensporePrices are 25% worse. Persuasion and intimidation are 25% harder.Slaughterfish
GutwormStamina regeneration is decreased by 25%. Food restores 25% less hungerStandard and frost trolls


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How do you know if you are sick in Skyrim?

You can see whether you have contracted a disease by taking a look at active effects in the “Active Effects” tab of your magic menu. Most of the time you’re going to notice that you’re becoming significantly weaker and that something needs to be done about it. If a skill that you do not use often is affected, most of the time NPCs will comment on your appearance and say that you appear to be sick.

How do you cure a disease in Skyrim?

There are several ways to cure a disease in Skyrim. All diseases in Skyrim can be cured at a shrine, by drinking a “cure disease” potion, eating garlic bread, or receiving healing from a Vigilant of Stendarr
The only exception to this rule is the disease Sanguinare Vampiris, but we’re going to discuss this in more detail later. For now, let’s take a look at how to cure disease in Skyrim.

1. You can cure disease by praying at a shrine

All major cities in Skyrim have temples dedicated to Eight Divines (or Nine depending on your religious approach), you can pray at those shrines to rid yourself of all adverse effects including diseases. All shrines will likewise, give you a special buff for a limited amount of time.

Shrine of talos in riften

Shrines can be encountered in the wilderness as well, in an unmarked location. Shrines are a free approach to healthcare in Skyrim but they are highly situational which means that sometimes, especially if you contract a disease while exploring ruins, they are not going to be nearby and you will have to suffer the adverse effects of your disease until you either find a shrine in the wilderness or visit the nearest city.

2. You can cure diseases in Skyrim by drinking potions of cure disease

Potions of cure disease are an efficient, cheap, and reliable way to cure yourself of all diseases in Skyrim. You can learn the recipe to craft the potion either by finding a written recipe or discovering the potion by accident when you combine ingredients with “cure disease” effects.

cure disease potion recipe

Ingredients most commonly used to cure disease are charred skeever hide, Felsaad Tern feathers, mudcrab chitin, hawk feathers, and vampire dust. When it comes to hawk feathers, if you eat them before mixing them into a potion you’re going to get the same effect as when you drink the cure disease potion, so there’s no need to prepare a separate potion if you have those at hand. Potions of cure disease can also be found in various chests in ruins, or you can purchase them from an alchemist or general goods store.


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potion of cure disease

3. You can cure yourself of diseases by eating garlic bread

Garlic bread is one more convenient and cheap way to cure ailments. You can create 2 slices of garlic bread by combining garlic, butter, and bread and baking them in an oven. You can bake the garlic bread yourself or simply buy one the next time you visit an inn.

garlic bread

4. Vigilants of Stendarr can cure your disease

Vigilants of Stendarr are a militant religious order of holy warriors in the service of Stendarr. They can usually be found patrolling the roads of Skyrim in groups or individually. Their purpose is to free the mortals of evils unleashed upon them by abominations such as vampires, daedra, and lycanthropes. If they are not hostile toward you or in the middle of combat you can ask them to bless you which will effectively cure all your diseases.

Vigilant of Stendarr in Skyrim

It’s not a good idea to rely on Vigilants however since most of them are randomly encountered and you cannot predict when you will happen upon one. You can always, however, if you are nearby, make your way to the Hall of the Vigillants near Dawnstar, and once there you can come across a member of the order and ask for a blessing.

How to cure the vampire disease in Skyrim?

As we’ve mentioned before Sanguinare Vampiris is a disease contracted when you are bitten by a vampire during combat. Sanguinare Vampiris affects you just like any other disease, it reduces your total health by 25 points. Just like any other disease, it can be cured by praying at a shrine, potion, garlic bread, or Vigilant of Stendarr but only for the first 3 days.

vampire disease in Skyrim

If 3 days have passed since you’ve contracted Sanguinare Vampiris you will be turned into a vampire and the only way to cure vampirism is to start a quest “Rising at Dawn.” “Rising at Dawn” points you toward an NPC named Falion in Morthal who has dealt with such matters before and he knows of a certain ritual that can purge the sickness from your spirit and body.

Summoning circle used to cure vampirism
Summoning circle near Morthal that Falion uses to cure vampirism

And that’s about it. As you can see diseases in Skyrim can be a pretty serious nuisance, but there are plenty of ways to deal with them if you’re resourceful enough.

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