There are plenty of health benefits of using infrared saunas and using them offers a unique kind of sauna experience that can’t be enjoyed from other types of saunas. But we need to be aware that improper and excessive use can lead to potential infrared sauna dangers which can adversely affect your general well-being. Fortunately, cases of infrared sauna risks are far and few in between. Nonetheless, you’ll still want to familiarize yourself with them and what you can do to avoid them and ensure a safe and successful sauna session.
Infrared Sauna Dangers
Although most people do not experience any discomfort or issues, there are certain cases where the extreme environment of infrared saunas can cause people to experience some adverse effects.
This is the most common of infrared sauna dangers that you should be aware of, especially if you are new to using a sauna. Some people unknowingly ignore the signs and symptoms of overheating, often thinking that the heat they’re feeling is simply part of a sauna session. That said, you’ll need to learn how to differentiate between the two. If you start feeling clammy, nauseous, or dizzy then that means that your body is starting to overheat and you should leave the sauna immediately to cool off. Besides, drinking plenty of water before your sauna session can help fight off overheating.
In any case, don’t pour water over yourself when you feel overly hot. Doing so will only increase the humidity inside the sauna and will make you feel even more uncomfortable.
Another common infrared sauna risk that you may experience is dehydration. Because of the high temperatures inside the sauna, you’ll start to feel thirsty which is pretty much normal. However, if you start to experience dry mouth, headaches, or drowsiness then it is likely that you are dehydrated.
Dehydration can be avoided by making sure that you are well hydrated before entering the sauna. It’s also okay to bring along a bottle of water inside the sauna and drink it during the session. Be sure to drink plenty of water afterward as well. Also, never drink sugary drinks, sodas, coffee, and especially alcohol because these drinks will only increase the risk of dehydration.
The high heat and excessive sweating that you’ll experience inside a sauna can have adverse effects on any medication you are currently taking. This is especially true for insulin and skin-based or trans-dermal medication.
Inside the sauna, your body will release toxins that are trapped inside the cells, and along with these are any residue from medications you took previously that may have been stored there. Sometimes, these medicine residues won’t come out as you sweat but will instead re-enter the bloodstream which may cause some discomfort or even certain side effects.
So if you’re currently taking or have just finished taking any medications, you’ll want to give yourself some time before using the sauna. Talk to your doctor as well and ask how a sauna session can affect your medications.
4. Medical Conditions
Those who are diagnosed with certain types of medical conditions should refrain from using an infrared sauna for safety reasons. Some of these medical conditions include diabetes, brain tumors, angina pectoris, aortic stenosis, lupus, and several others. If you insist on using an infrared sauna, then it should be under the supervision of a medical practitioner. In no case should you go and use a sauna on your own.
5. Past Drug Use
Psychedelic drugs like LSD can stay in the body long after you stopped using them as they usually get stored in the body’s fat cells. When you go into the sauna, the environment can cause the drug residues to be released from their storage and into the bloodstream. Needless to say, when this happens you may feel certain physiological and psychological effects. That said, be honest with yourself and your therapist so you can best plan how to go about your detoxification process.
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6. Depletion of Nutrition
You may have planned to use an infrared sauna to detoxify your body, and most experts will agree that this can only be enjoyed if you use the sauna regularly. However, this can also have adverse effects on your health as constant detoxification when taken to the extremes can cause your body to lose minerals and nutrients as well.
As such, be sure that your nutrition is on point and that your diet consists of sufficient amounts of minerals and nutrients that your body requires. Consider talking to a nutritionist or a dietician as well since they can help to customize or modifying your diet to avoid these particular infrared sauna risks.
7. Exposure to EMF Radiation
Infrared saunas and even infrared sauna blankets make use of heaters that generate electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. This is the same type of radiation emitted by household appliances and gadgets like microwave ovens, smartphones, and others. Studies have shown that exposure to high EMF levels can increase health risks like cancer, which is why it is crucial to limit your exposure as much as possible.
Fortunately, the EMF levels emitted by infrared saunas are not high enough to cause any significant damage to your body or other types of infrared sauna dangers. However, this will still be influenced by a variety of factors, most importantly the quality of the infrared sauna. Poor quality infrared saunas generally don’t indicate the actual levels of EMF they emit and may be emitting more than is safe. So if you plan to buy your single-person infrared sauna or a full three-person infrared sauna for your family and friends be sure to patronize only high-quality products from reputable manufacturers.
8. Silicone Implants
Silicone implants are known for their high heat resistance, so using a sauna shouldn’t be a problem because the heat generated doesn’t go high enough to melt silicone. However, this is only true for high-quality silicones since poor quality ones have higher chances of melting or getting deformed. So be sure to ask your doctor first and confirm the quality of your silicone implants before heading to the sauna.
The intense heat inside the sauna is detrimental to the skin and can lead to hyperpigmentation and other similar concerns. For instance, heat has been shown to increase the production of melanocyte pigment within the skin and can lead to worse cases of melisma. Another is that the intense infrared light and the radiation it emits can cause inflammation and skin aging.
People with eczema are generally not advised to use infrared saunas because the excessive sweating that the body goes through can make the condition worse and comes in the form of increased itching. Although not a lot of studies have been conducted regarding this particular infrared sauna risks, the few ones have confirmed that about 50% of people suffering from atopic dermatitis (children in the study) will experience worse symptoms.
Q: Can infrared saunas be harmful?
While using an infrared sauna can be beneficial for overall health, there are adverse effects may be experienced by the user if the device is not used properly. That said, be sure to know how to use infrared saunas properly and if needed ask the supervision of a medical practitioner before using one.
Q: Is it safe to use an infrared sauna every day?
Yes, but not necessary. Most people go to infrared saunas three to four times a week and that’s usually enough to achieve their goals and improve health. Also, if you are planning to go daily or have one in your home, considering decreasing the number of minutes you spend inside.
Q: Can infrared light give you cancer?
No, exposure to infrared light and infrared sauna does not cause skin cancer so you can rule that out from your list of infrared sauna dangers. Infrared saunas can help fight cancer. However, because of the increased skin temperature, DNA repair efficiency is reduced which means that you may be at risk of skin cancer caused by other agents (e.g. the sun’s UV rays).
Q: Do infrared saunas give off radiation?
Yes, they do but as mentioned earlier the amount of radiation that they emit is low and safe enough to be used even on a daily (albeit moderate) basis.
Globo Surf Overview
As with any other thing, the improper use of an infrared sauna can lead to certain health risks, and to avoid these infrared sauna dangers caution and prudence should always be exercised when using it. The different infrared sauna risks can be avoided with a little help from a medical practitioner and some common sense.
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