This post will answer your question “Are infrared saunas safe?”. There are a few dangers of the infrared sauna that need to be understood before engaging in regular use.
Don’t get me wrong, using an infrared sauna on a regular basis can be very beneficial to your health, however the device needs to be respected. An infrared sauna is an extreme temperature environment and the human body will react in different ways depending on the individual.
As we go through this, please keep in mind that even though there can be dangers involved in using an infrared sauna, in most situations, it is completely safe. Or as Brent A. Bauer M.D. of the Mayo Clinic states:
“…no adverse effects have been reported with infrared saunas. So if you’re considering trying a sauna for relaxation, an infra red sauna might be an option.” – Brent A. Bauer, M.D. read more HERE
Are Infrared Saunas Safe ? 7 Dangers of Using This Sauna
One of the most obvious dangers of the infra red sauna is the chance of overheating. An infra red sauna is used to induce an artificial fever in the user by using light waves to transfer radiant heat to your body. If you would like to know more about this process we have written an article explaining it over HERE. Regardless, lets face facts, it is hot inside a sauna and if you’re not careful you can become overheated. A user can prevent this by taking a few steps.
The first step is to be mindful of what you are wearing. The best scenario is to wear as little clothing as possible, preferably none. It may sound silly, but it is the best way your let your skin breathe and sweat. If you must wear clothing, try to keep it to non-constricting, breathable fabrics such as cotton.
On a final note, if you are experiencing a fever, you should NOT use an infra red sauna until the fever it gone. When the human body has a fever, the last thing that it needs is more added heat. This could lead to severe heat stroke and cause all kinds of serious medical issues. The best thing to do is seek out ways to reduce your body’s temperature until the fever breaks.
Dehydration is another danger of using an infra red sauna that you should be mindful of. This danger can sneak up on a user. An infra red sauna is used to make you sweat. When you sweat, you are purging water and impurities out of your body. This purging is good for your health, but you must replace the water. So, make sure you drink plenty of water. Here is a list of symptoms related to dehydration.
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
If you feel you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it would be wise to postpone your next sauna session until you have re-hydrated your body. If you would like to know more about hydration and infra red sauna use, we have written an article on how to properly use an infra red sauna. You can find it HERE.
If you are currently on any prescription medications, it is best to check with your medical professional before using an infra red sauna. Some medications are very susceptible to heat and can be a major concern if using an infra red sauna. The best example of this is transdermal medications. Transdermal medications are used by applying a patch to the skin. The medication is absorbed through the user’s skin. Increased heat and sweat can change the absorption rate of the medication and cause very serious issues. Please check with your doctor before you use an infra red sauna.
If you have any serious medical conditions please check with your doctor before you engage in using an infra red sauna. Certain medical conditions can become worse when exposed to extreme heat. You should completely avoid using an infrar ed sauna if you have had a stroke, issues with the heart, heart attack, and any active tumor. Also, if you have any type implant or pacemaker, or respiratory issue, you should check with your medical professional. Keep in mind that you may still be able to use an infra red sauna, but only under the supervision of your doctor.
Using an sauna while pregnant is a very serious danger of infra red sauna use. If you are pregnant DO NOT use an infra red sauna. According to the American Pregnancy Association:
“a body temperature of 101º F and above can raise concerns during pregnancy. Some studies have shown an increased risk of birth defects”
– American Pregnancy Association, read more HERE
Even though it sounds like a great way to relax, it is best that an infra red sauna be avoided completely while pregnant.
Low Blood Pressure:
When in an infra red sauna, the blood vessels dilate in order to increase blood flow to the surface. The body does this to try to cool down. Unfortunately, this also causes a drop in blood pressure. While this is fine for a person with normal blood pressure, it is bad for those who already have low blood pressure (Hypotension). Using a sauna in conjunction with hypotension can cause the blood pressure to drop to a dangerously low level. If you already have low blood pressure, it is wise to avoid using an infra red sauna completely.
While children can use an infra red sauna for a limited time, certain situations can lead to danger. A child’s body can not regulate temperature as well as adult. Therefore, they should always be supervised while using an infra red sauna. As a rule of thumb a child under 10 years old should not use a sauna at all, and above 10 years old should keep their session to a maximum of 10 minutes.
If you would like to know more about the dangers of infrared sauna, we have written an article on safety concerns. You can find it HERE.