Are Infrared Saunas Safe?

by Jim Radenhausen

If regular saunas get a little too hot for you, you may have looked into infrared saunas but are concerned about potential health hazards. However, if you are in good health, you can use an infrared sauna and enjoy its various benefits without worrying about risks to your health. In fact, you can safely use infrared saunas to help with a number of health problems.

Safety Concerns

Whenever you step outside to a shining sun, you experience infrared wavelength light, which helps the sun's rays warm you. Infrared saunas use the same wavelength light--far infrared radiation (FIR), which warms your body without warming the air between yourself and the light.

Since people can develop skin cancer from too much sun exposure, you might think that infrared saunas pose a threat to your health. That is not the case, though, as you would not use an infrared sauna to gain a darker complexion. Ultraviolet rays cause sunburning, not infrared rays, so you can use an infrared sauna without worrying that it will damage your skin in any way.

In case you still have doubts about infrared sauna safety, consider this: Hospitals use FIR to warm premature babies in incubators, and NASA has used infrared heat to keep astronauts warm. However, you should be cautious in using an infrared sauna if you have certain illnesses and conditions (such as cardiovascular problems, hemophilia or conditions that impair sweating abilities).

You also should exercise caution if you take prescription drugs, are menstruating or pregnant, have acute joint injuries or have silicone or other implants. Just to be safe, you should consult with a physician who is knowledgeable of your medical history to determine if there are any health risks involved in you using an infrared sauna.

Benefits of Infrared Sauna Use

Once you understand that infrared saunas do not pose a threat to your health, you can use one for any number of wellness goals you may have. If you want a tool to penetrate your skin more deeply, in turn ridding your body of more toxins, you should use an infrared sauna. Infrared heat helps boost your immune system and soothe aching joints, as well as control your blood pressure and strengthen your cardiovascular system, among other health benefits.

If you are looking to breathe easier, infrared saunas help you accomplish that goal, thanks to the lower temperatures under which infrared saunas operate (100 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to regular saunas' 180 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you have skin diseases like acne, eczema and psoriasis, using an infrared sauna can help with your condition. Infrared saunas can even help lose weight by burning as much as 600 calories per half-hour session.

About the Author

Jim Radenhausen is a freelancer who began writing professionally in 1998. A resident of Reeders, Pa., he spent over two years working at the "Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal." Radenhausen received his bachelor's degree in English/professional writing from Kutztown University in 1997.