18 Infrared Sauna Contraindications: Don’t Overlook These Facts

We here at Sauna Squad believe that sauna is for everyone. And while this is a near-universal truth, there are a few very important health-related exceptions.

We’ve touched on things like sauna with high blood pressure, metal implants (like spinal fusions or hip replacements) and sauna while pregnant in the past. However, it can extend beyond just those issues.

It’s super important to know about infrared sauna contraindications. Think like this: You’re all set for a warm, relaxing sauna time. But then, you discover it might not be the best choice for your health.

That’s a bummer, right? And it’s something you want to avoid.

So, you might be thinking, “What should I watch out for?” Well, there are a few things. If you’ve had surgery recently, using an infrared sauna after surgery needs a second thought. And if you have arthritis, you should consider how an infrared sauna and arthritis might interact.

What Does ‘Contraindications’ Mean? (In Medical Terms)

“Contraindications” might sound like a big word, but it’s pretty simple. It’s all about knowing when something, like using an infrared sauna, might not be a good idea for your health. It’s like having a map that shows you where it’s safe to go and where you might run into trouble. Regarding your health, you want to stay on the safe path!

Why is it Important to Recognize These Contraindications?

Recognizing infrared sauna contraindications is like having a personal health guard. It’s all about making sure your sauna sessions are not just enjoyable but also safe. When you know what to watch out for, you take a big step in preventing health risks. It’s like reading the rules before playing a game – it keeps things fun and safe!

Think of your body as a unique system. What works great for one person might not be the best for another. That’s why understanding these contraindications is so essential. It’s the key to ensuring your time in an infrared sauna is helping, not hurting. 

Knowing these contraindications means you’re looking out for your well-being. It’s about enjoying the warmth and benefits of an infrared sauna while ensuring you’re doing what’s best for your health. 

Let’s stay informed and make your sauna experience a source of relaxation and health, not worry!

Old man with heart condition in infrared sauna

Who Should Think Twice Before Using an Infrared Sauna?

It’s not one-size-fits-all when it comes to enjoying the warmth of an infrared sauna. Certain health conditions necessitate extra thought or even a chat with your doctor. Here’s a breakdown of why individuals with specific health concerns should approach sauna use cautiously:

1. Heart Issues

If you’re dealing with heart conditions like unstable angina, recent heart surgery, or uncontrolled arrhythmias, stepping into an infrared sauna might not be the best idea. The heat can stress your heart, pushing up your heart rate and core body temperature. 

This can be especially risky for those with cardiovascular conditions or congestive heart failure. Before you think about enjoying the benefits of an infrared sauna, chat with your doctor. They can offer the right advice on how you can safely enjoy the benefits of a sauna if it’s advisable at all.

2. Blood Pressure

Sauna sessions can be tricky if you have blood pressure issues, whether it’s high or low. The heat can mess with your blood flow, leading to dizziness or even fainting spells. Are you concerned about your blood pressure? 

It’s a smart move to discuss infrared sauna use with your healthcare provider first. They suggest keeping a close eye on your blood pressure or staying out of the sauna entirely.

3. Implanted Devices

Do you have a pacemaker, defibrillator, or surgical implants like metal pins? You’ll want to tread carefully. Some frequencies in an infrared sauna might mess with these devices, possibly leading to malfunctions.

 It’s super important to discuss things with your doctor or the company that made your device before considering using a sauna. They can give you advice specific to your device and health situation.

4. Active Infections

An infrared sauna might seem soothing, but the heat can do more harm than good with an active infection. It can raise your body temperature, worsening a fever and potentially helping the infection spread. If you’re feeling under the weather, skipping the sauna until fully recovers is best.

5. Skin Conditions

The sauna’s heat might worsen if you’re dealing with skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, or general sensitivity. It can dry out your skin or cause flare-ups. If you have skin problems, getting advice from a dermatologist before you use an infrared sauna might be a good idea. They might have tips on protecting your skin or suggest avoiding the sauna altogether.

Woman with parasites infection on her back

6. Kidney Disease

Individuals with kidney disease need to approach sauna use with caution. The sauna’s heat can cause fluid imbalance or electrolyte loss, potentially complicating your condition. Always consult your doctor to understand how sauna heat might affect your kidneys and whether it’s a safe option for you.

7. Mental Health

For individuals with mental health conditions like schizophrenia, the sensory environment in a sauna — heat, humidity, and social setting — might be overwhelming and could potentially exacerbate symptoms. 

Similarly, for those with epilepsy, the concern would be about the potential for heat to trigger a seizure. However, this risk may vary based on individual health factors and the nature of their condition.

It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about how the heat might interact with your condition and to follow their guidance on sauna use.

8. Bleeding Disorders

If you have a bleeding disorder, the sauna’s heat, which increases blood flow, could be a concern. It might worsen bleeding issues or affect how your blood clots. Discuss sauna use with your doctor to understand the risks and to get advice tailored to your health needs.

9. Blood Thinners

The heat in an infrared sauna can amplify the effects of blood thinners, heightening the risk of bleeding. If you’re on these medications, it’s critical to consult your healthcare provider. They can guide you on whether sauna use is safe for you and how to manage your medication and sauna sessions.

10. Diuretics

Using a sauna while on diuretics can make you dehydrated. The sauna’s heat, along with the effect of the diuretic, can drain your body’s fluids fast. Before you use a sauna, talk with your doctor about balancing your meds and hydration to keep your sauna sessions safe and fun.

11. Illegal Drugs

The unpredictable interaction between illegal drugs and the sauna’s heat can lead to serious health risks. If you’re under the influence of these substances, avoid the sauna. The heat can intensify the drug’s effects, posing threats to your health and safety.

12. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it’s crucial to be cautious with sauna use. The heat can increase the risk of complications, stressing both the mother and the fetus. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, discuss infrared sauna use with your healthcare provider to understand the potential risks and to receive personalized advice.

13. Children Under 18

Kids’ bodies are still growing, and they’re more at risk of getting too hot. Thinking about sauna use for a child? It’s key to talk to a pediatrician first. They can offer advice based on the child’s age and health and how to keep them safe in the sauna.

14. Fever

If you have a fever, using a sauna can make it worse. The heat can raise your body temperature further, delaying recovery. It’s best to wait until your fever subsides before considering sauna use, ensuring your body is ready to handle the heat safely.

Image of woman in sauna feeling worse after infrared sauna session

15. Unhealed Wounds

For those with unhealed wounds, sauna heat can increase the risk of infection. The warm, moist environment can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you have wounds, cuts, or sores, it’s wise to wait until they’re fully healed before using a sauna.

16. Dehydration

Going into a sauna when you’re dehydrated can lead to heat stress or even heatstroke. Ensure you’re well-hydrated before, during, and after your sauna time. If you tend to get dehydrated, chat with your doctor about using the sauna safely and keeping your body hydrated.

17. Post-Surgery Recovery

After surgery, your body needs time to heal. The heat from a sauna can affect this process. Always wait for your doctor’s clearance before using a sauna post-surgery. They can guide you on the right timing and how to reintroduce sauna use safely into your routine.

18. Cancer Concerns

If you have cancer or a history of it, sauna use requires careful consideration. Ongoing research suggests a need for caution. Always consult your doctor to discuss how sauna heat might interact with your condition and to receive guidance tailored to your health situation.

Wrapping It Up: Infrared Sauna Contraindications Safety

Understanding the 18 infrared sauna contraindications is more than a precaution—ensuring your sauna experience is as beneficial as relaxing. Remember, your health and safety come first. 

Whether it’s a heart condition, blood pressure concerns, or the specifics of post-surgery recovery, each point we’ve discussed serves as a guide to help you navigate toward infrared sauna safely. 

It’s essential to consider these factors in light of your health and always, without exception, consult with a healthcare professional before stepping into the soothing embrace of infrared heat.

And hey, we’d love to hear from you! Share your sauna experiences, questions, or thoughts in the comments below. Let’s make the journey to wellness a shared and supported experience.

Your experiences and questions enrich our collective understanding and love for saunas. Explore our Sauna Squad website and become a part of our warm, welcoming community today!

DISCLAIMER: Please note that individual experiences with infrared saunas may vary, and it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new wellness regimen. We are not healthcare professionals and we are not giving medical advice.

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We hope we’ve provided some value in your research. But if you have any questions or concerns, hit us up on Instagram @thesaunasquad or feel free to fire us a message on our contact page.

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