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Sauna Risks: Are Infrared Saunas Safe for Your Health?

Infrared saunas make use of infrared heaters to create light waves that are experienced as radiant heat in the body. This heat makes you relax and detoxify the body.

But of course, you may ask – are infrared saunas safe?

Are infrared heaters safe?

A 20-30 minute sauna session every day is very beneficial for your overall health and well-being. The infrared heaters are safe for a healthy adult individual. As a matter of fact, the infrared sauna is healthy primarily because it uses the “infrared radiation,” which is used in hospitals to keep prematurely-born babies warm.

It is the only type of radiation perceived by our body as “gentle radiant heat”, that is very safe and which can penetrate to around 1.5 inches underneath the skin. The heat waves from infrared heaters make us sweat, that helps us to get rid of toxic metals like cadmium, mercury, arsenic and lead.

Are there any risks associated with infrared saunas?

As with anything, even the infrared saunas should be used in moderation and there are specific cases when they may impose some risks:

You should always adjust the temperature so that it is comfortable for you. Extremely high temperatures can cause can cause dizziness, nausea or even unconsciousness.

Overheating may cause fainting, dehydration and electrolyte depletion, especially with elderly people.

Long-term use of sauna, in some cases and for some people results in depletion of important minerals and nutrients. This is however the case for people who are extremely heavy sauna users.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages during the sauna sessions is extremely dangerous as alcohol elevates the risk of overheating.

Infrared heaters used in modern infrared saunas generate electromagnetic field radiation (EMF), which is normally low.

However, the level can vary depending on the brand and level of manufacturing quality. High levels of EMF have been attributed to various health risks.

Make sure to choose certified sauna model from quality sauna manufacturers when buying your infrared sauna. Check out our reviews of the top infrared saunas to find out more.

What does all this mean for you?
  • Always use infrared sauna to an extent that is comfortable for you and never stay inside the sauna if you don’t feel well or if you encounter any discomfort.
  • If you suffer from any kind of serious health conditions, always consult the infrared sauna usage with your doctor.

What should you do to stay safe in sauna?


  • Keep sauna sessions shorter in case you are sensitive to heat or you start becoming uncomfortable. A 15 to 30 minute session everyday works well for most of the infrared sauna beginners.
  • Always stay hydrated. It is advisable to drink 2 – 4 glasses of water after every session. It is advisable to drink mineral water or fresh fruit juices to make up for the electrolytes lost during sweating.
  • Remove any jewelry you are wearing before going for sauna session. It can heat up very quickly and can cause discomfort, itching, skin irritation or burning.
  • Never consume alcohol in the sauna and do not go in right after a heavy meal or strenuous exercise.
  • Relax after every session. Sit down for at least 10-15 minutes and then go for a cold shower to help bring your body temperature back to normal levels.
  • Don’t spend too much time in the sauna at a very high temperature. Too much heat can cause blisters and in case your skin starts to sting, just leave the sauna.
  • If at any point, you feel dizziness, or headache, nausea, leave immediately. Taxing the body to extremes makes no sense – especially not in the name of well-being and health. Moderation is the key.

Who shouldn’t use an infrared sauna?

Infrared sauna baths are generally safe. But it is not recommended to certain people.

People suffering from atopic dermatitis experience worse symptoms when exposed to the infrared sauna on a regular basis. Sweating during sauna sessions increases itching in people having this medical condition.

If you are pregnant, it is not recommended to use an infrared sauna (or any kind, actually) unless consulted with your doctor.

People who take medicinal drugs should be careful while using an infrared sauna. Somemedications have the potential to cause impairment of the ability to perspire and may also result in dehydration. They should always consult with their doctor.

People with certain health disorders may not be able to safely handle the heat of an infrared sauna. People with serious conditions should avoid the use of sauna altogether unless under the direct supervision of a medical practitioner.


Be wise and sensible with the sauna exposure and always monitor your body. At any point, if something doesn’t feel right, probabilities are it isn’t. Just leave the sauna in case of any unpleasant feeling or any discomfort and immediately seek professional advice.

As long as you consider some important precautions and seek guidance from a professional medical practitioner in case of any problems, infrared saunas can be considered safe.

Ben Pavlik - Your Wellness Kingdom | Twitter | Facebook
Hi, my name is Ben, I am a fitness enthusiast and sauna lover. Your Wellness Kingdom is my project dedicated to helping others create their own wellness kingdom at home and bringing useful information and reviews related to spa and wellness.

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