Infrared Sauna Safety

Sauna Safety to review before your session

In general, infrared saunas are considered safe for most people.

However, if you’re on medications, have implanted medical devices, or have a medical condition — whether acute or chronic — you should be cautious and speak to your healthcare provider before encountering any form of intense heat exposure.

When to AVOID Sauna Use: Despite their benefits, saunas may not be appropriate for everyone. If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm, or unstable angina or any other condition which makes you prone to potentially severe cardiovascular events, it is important to avoid sauna use until you receive your doctors clearance.

When to Get Clearance:

While not an exhaustive list, the conditions listed in this section warrant getting clearance from a healthcare provider. We recommend anyone with a medical condition consult with their doctor before use of the sauna.

  • Conditions make people more prone to dehydration and overheating: such as having very low blood pressure, having kidney disease, taking medications such as diuretics, other blood pressure-lowering drugs, or medications that can cause dizziness
  • Nerve and motor function conditions. If you have a neurological deficits, your ability to sense and respond to the intensity of heat might put you at risk for heat or burn injuries.
  • Pregnancy considerations. If you’re pregnant, avoid using the sauna unless you’ve received clearance from your doctor.
  • Age considerations. If you have an age-related limitation, avoid using a sauna. This includes older adults who are more prone to dehydration and dizziness with dry heat, which can lead to falls. For children, discuss infrared sauna use with their doctor before trying it out.
  • Open wounds. If you have open wounds or you’re recovering from surgery, wait until these areas are closed over. Then talk with your healthcare provider first to get permission before getting infrared sauna treatments.
  • Heart conditions. People with cardiovascular diseases, or underlying heart arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation, should talk with their doctor before using a sauna, since the use of a sauna can increase heart rate and could potentially cause arrhythmia in some people.

Infrared Sauna safety tips

It’s important to follow some general guidelines for safe use. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol prior to sauna use can cause overheating and potentially lead to dehydration, a heat stroke, and heat exhaustion.
  • Drink plenty of water and electrolytes. Make sure you drink plenty of water before getting in the sauna, during your session — especially if you start feeling light-headed or thirsty, or you find yourself sweating excessively, and also when you get out.
  • Start with shorter time in the sauna. Begin with shorter sessions that last approximately 15-20 minutes. Please step out of the sauna and cool down with water and a fan if you feel overheated. As you get comfortable, you can add time to each session until you reach 40 minutes.
  • Don’t use a sauna if you’re sick. Please.
  • Avoid use with irritated skin. If you have a sensitive skin condition or a condition such as eczema than can cause skin irritation, you may want to allow your skin to recover before exposure.
  • Pay attention to certain symptoms. If you experience symptoms of dizziness or light-headedness, stop your session immediately. This can be a sign of dehydration or other medical complications. And if the symptoms persist, seek immediate medical assistance. We have a call button located in the room if you desire any help.

The Takeaway

Infrared saunas provide a relaxing experience that’s safe for most people. That said, they’re not appropriate for everyone.

If you’re pregnant, very young (a child), an older adult, at risk of overheating or becoming dehydrated, or you have a chronic health condition, we recommend you talk with your healthcare provider before using an infrared sauna.