What are the Dangers of Infrared Saunas?

Like any wise consumer, the potential dangers of infrared saunas are something you need to explore before you consider buying this type of sauna. Yet there have not been any published studies that home infrared saunas are dangerous, and most web discussions usually relate to the extent of benefits that an infrared heat sauna provides over a traditional steam sauna.

(Please note: the topics talked about here are meant to stimulate further investigation on your part. It is not our intention to imply that home infrared saunas are 100% safe for all individuals.)

Potential Dangers to be Aware of

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.

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; nevertheless, it has not been shown to cause any harm to unborn babies.
  • 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.

When used properly, the dangers of infrared saunas are zero. Remember, infrared light is an energy that heats up objects directly (through a process called conversion); that is, it heats the body without having to heat the air in between you and the heater. The artificial fever the FIR induces in your body is temporary and has numerous healing qualities, but you should fully understand what an infrared heat sauna does and how to avoid potentially dangerous applications.