Is a Dry Sauna Good for the Skin?

Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Many people use a dry sauna for relaxation, weight reduction and skin care. The heat created in a dry sauna is a dry heat that's produced through a variety of mediums, such as wood burning, ovens or the heating of rocks. It's a different type of heat than that produced by steam saunas.

How Dry Heat Can Affect The Skin

According to the Mayo Clinic, dry skin can occur as a result to being exposed to heat sources such as wood-burning stoves or fireplaces. They reduce the humidity in the air and dry out the skin. Researchers at Harvard University indicate that the dry heat created in the saunas has a significant effect on the body by stimulating the body to pump double the blood it normally does each minute. Most of this increased blood flow goes to the skin and takes blood away from the other organs.

Consequences of Being Exposed to Sauna Heat For the Skin

Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, professor of dermatology at St. Louis University, says some skin conditions can worsen from being exposed to high heat. These conditions include acne, melasma or broken capillaries. She says that someone might get the same amount of benefit from relaxing in front of a television as from sitting in a dry sauna, which is essentially relaxation.

Beauty Care Expert Insight

Aestheticians are professionals who have completed courses in skin care from a cosmetic point of view. According to Shizen Spa director Laurence Ruptus, a person suffering from itchy skin may find the condition worsens with dry heat.


Take care when using a dry sauna. You can easily overheat, especially if using drugs or alcohol. Drink plenty of water to replace the fluids lost when you sweat. Young children and seniors with serious medical conditions should probably avoid saunas, because the extreme heat can cause heart rate to speed up substantially.


With the high heat produced by dry saunas, check with your health care provider before utilizing a sauna, especially if you suffer from any type of skin problem.