While there are few dangers of the infrared sauna, it’s important to know what they are!
Infrared saunas are different from traditional dry saunas in that they use a combination of heat and light therapy. The light from an infrared sauna can penetrate the skin up to 1.5 inches, changing some of our cell membrane structures and more.
Health hazards related to ionizing EMF are radiation burns. By far the most common health hazard of ionizing radiation is sunburn, which causes one million new skin cancers annually.
Sauna bathing causes various acute, transient cardiovascular and hormonal changes.
The potential dangers of infrared saunas do exist for some pre-existing conditions. For example, it is not advisable to raise core temperatures in people who have adrenal suppression, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, or any condition that impairs the ability to sweat.
People with heart disease, certain cardiovascular conditions call for avoiding saunas, according to a study published in the Feb. 1, 2001 issue of the “American Journal of Medicine”. These include unstable angina, recent heart attack, and severe narrowing of the aortic valve (aortic stenosis). Drinking alcohol in a sauna increases the risk of low blood pressure, irregular heart beat, and sudden death. Caution to people with high blood pressure to “go easy” on any form of sweat-inducing heat.
Sweating during a sauna may increase itching in people with eczema (atopic dermatitis), according to a “American Journal of Medicine” study. Another study published in the “European Journal of Pediatrics” in December 1989 evaluated children regularly participating in saunas and found that half of those with atopic dermatitis experienced worse symptoms in the sauna.
And there are a few other groups and conditions to be warned about:
- Dehydration. Older adults are in danger of getting dehydrated more than younger people and should be advised to drink water before, during, and after using infrared saunas.
- Joint Injuries. Don’t apply direct heat to a swollen joint injury for 48 hours. This goes for sauna use too.
- Pregnancy. Your doctor may warn you to discontinue the sauna use while you are pregnant. The low level heat in an infrared heat sauna may be uncomfortable for you.
- Implants. If you have silicone breast implants or any type of silicone prostheses, check with your doctor before using an FIR sauna. Since the silicone absorbs infrared energy, there is the danger that it could be warmed by the rays (though it would not melt). Obviously, you should discontinue using the sauna if you experience any pain near the implant site, but check with your doctor if you have specific concerns about the dangers of infrared saunas and implants.
- Medications. Certain medications can cause the body to be more prone to heat stroke so read the label or call your doctor for advice.
- Fever. If you’re sick and already have a fever, avoid an infrared heat sauna. Why try to induce a dangerously high body fever when you already have one?
- Hemophilia. Any increased vasodilatation caused by thermal heating should be avoided by hemophiliacs.