Does Infrared Sauna Help Reduce Rosacea? (How Often to Use Sauna?)

Infrared saunas are known for their ability to increase and improve blood circulation. So it’s natural to wonder if infrared saunas can be used to treat different types of skin problems.

Infrared saunas can help reduce rosacea as it enables people to sweat out a certain fat called porphyrins which are believed to be present in people with rosacea. That said, nothing is guaranteed. So you may have to visit the infrared sauna a couple of times before gauging if it’s helping reduce your rosacea. 

Keep on reading to learn how exactly the infrared light and the traditional sauna heat affect rosacea and improve your skin overall.

Table of Contents

How Does Infrared Sauna Light Affect Rosacea?

Infrared saunas have been shown to offer beneficial relief to people with various skin conditions. In terms of options for saunas, the type of heat created in this environment is gentler on the body while still offering the same type of experience. The heat is shown to help promote good blood flow through the body and contains anti-inflammatory properties that can offer some comfort. 

It’s believed that part of the potential benefits of an infrared sauna for rosacea is due to the way it makes a person sweat. It allows for certain fats called porphyrins, believed to be present in people with rosacea, to be released from the system through sweat. Since there is some evidence to suggest porphyrins can aggravate rosacea, being able to get rid of them could help offer some relief. 

girl with freckles and rosacea
Girl with freckles and a bit of rosacea (Image source)

The technology used in infrared saunas can also help offer some much-need positive stimulation of a person’s blood vessels, helping to promote positive dilation and blood flow through these vessels. This can be important for a person with rosacea as part of the condition involves highly visible blood vessels changing the appearance of the skin. 

With infrared saunas in particular, temperatures are lower and the heat source is different, so if a person with rosacea wants to try a sauna, an infrared sauna is a good place to start. The important thing to remember is that everyone is different and may experience varied results. Additionally, no one should use a sauna without talking to a doctor first. 

Also read: Is Infrared Sauna Bad for Melasma?

How Does Traditional Or Steam Sauna Affect Rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition that results in redness and bumps on the skin. The condition is often isolated to the face but it can impact other parts of the body as well. It can be uncomfortable and irritating but it can be managed. As with any skin condition, there are a variety of things that could trigger a flare-up. For rosacea, a common trigger is a heat. 

When a person uses a sauna, some might experience skin redness as a typical reaction to high heat exposure, especially if they are not used properly. Since rosacea in and of itself can cause skin discoloration, one might not want to risk having that exacerbated. That said, some people with rosacea have found a few minutes in a sauna can improve the look and feel of their skin. 

A typical treatment plan for those living with rosacea includes trying to mitigate triggers as much as possible. Thus, those who have sensitivities to extreme temperatures on any side of the spectrum will likely be advised by their trusted medical professionals to refrain from using a traditional or steam sauna. 

For those who find relief of any kind in a sauna, one key element to enjoying the experience is sticking to small periods of time in the room and not indulging in the high heat often. If you are experiencing a particularly distressing flare-up, it’s a good idea to skip the sauna or steam room until you get to a remission period unless a doctor advises you otherwise. 

Also read: Is Sauna Good for Vitiligo?

Should You Use The Sauna (Infrared, Traditional, or Steam) To Treat Rosacea?

Saunas of any kind aren’t usually recommended as a treatment option for rosacea. It could be suggested to some to offer some relief alongside a treatment plan made with a dermatologist and primary care physician. However, users should be minimal until an individual gets to know their personal tolerance for any type of sauna. 

It’s actually typically suggested that a person with rosacea refrains from any kind of activity that would expose them to high heat for a long time. Studies suggest that at least half of a little less than half of people with rosacea tend to have worsening symptoms when they are exposed to heat, whether from the sun, a hot bath, a sauna, or otherwise. 

man shading from heat
Overexposure to heat can worsen rosacea (Image source)

Since infrared saunas create a similar environment to a traditional steam sauna without such high temperatures, there is the potential that it wouldn’t trigger a flare-up for some people. One should start with five to ten minutes at a time, ensuring they are remaining properly hydrated, and leave the sauna as soon as they begin to feel uncomfortable. 

One thing to consider is that sitting inside a sauna is also a relaxing experience, which can help someone who finds stress is a trigger for rosacea flares. An infrared sauna is a quiet space free of distractions and outside noise which can help a person experience a therapeutic level of calmness and stress reduction both mentally and physiologically. 

How Do Saunas Improve Skin?

Saunas can promote a blast of hydration to the skin, help to relieve irritation or dryness and encourage positive blood flow. All of these things, over time and coupled with plenty of water, have been proven to positively benefit those with and without diagnosed skin conditions or disorders. Saunas are able to do this naturally without chemical-laden, expensive products, which is highly beneficial for those who have sensitive skin. 

Conclusion

When comparing the use of infrared, traditional, and steam saunas, an infrared sauna appears to be the safest choice for someone with rosacea. People with rosacea tend to have mixed results when using a sauna, so it’s important to start with a few minutes at a time, listen to your body, and don’t try anything without medical advice first. 

While there are a lot of common symptoms and experiences among people living with rosacea, it’s also true that each individual has their own sources of comfort and relief as well as their own triggers they must avoid. It might take a couple of attempts in a sauna before you can gauge how it helps or exacerbates your rosacea. 

Ultimately, while there is a lot of evidence to support the use of infrared saunas in particular in soothing sensitive, dry, and irritated skin associated with various skin disorders, there is less concrete knowledge as to how the heat impacts those with rosacea other than some small studies. 

(Featured image by Cottonbro Studio from Pexels)

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