Hands-Face Numb Post-Sauna & Steam Room Sessions? Here’s Why

The use of a sauna or steam room can provide you with a great sense of mental clarity and may even offer some relief from physical ailments you face. However, you have to use these rooms appropriately in order to see any potential health benefits; otherwise, you might risk some unsavory side effects. 

It’s not normal to experience numb hands or a numb face when using a sauna or steam room, but it can happen. If it does, stop using the sauna and consult a doctor before you decide to go back. If you get the all-clear to continue sauna or steam room usage, you’ll want to go about it more carefully.

In the rest of the article, we are going to look at how sauna and steam room sessions affect your body and the essential steps you need to take to before stepping into a session.

Table of Contents

Effects of Saunas & Steam Rooms on Your Body

Saunas and steam rooms can have both positive and negative effects on your body. Many sauna and steam room users find that they help relieve tension, pain, and stress symptoms with continued, safe use.

The experience itself has also helped many people simply relax and forget about the worries of their day, which can be very beneficial for a person’s mental well-being. 

The key to potentially seeing these benefits is safe to use and a safe level of consistency. It can take a little bit of time for you to handle staying in a sauna or steam room for your desired amount of time, but you should be patient with yourself and stop using one if you start to become uncomfortable. 

Why Your Face/Hands Are Going Numb in Sauna & Steam Rooms

man with numb hand
Numbing hands & face could be signs of underlying disease (Image source)

If you experience face and hand numbness in saunas and steam rooms, you need to talk to your doctor.

There could be a plethora of reasons that you’re feeling this numbness during your sauna session, and talking to your doctor is the most important first step. It’s possible that you have an underlying or undiscovered health concern that is being exacerbated by your steam room or sauna usage. 

For example, some people who have health concerns related to nerves or blood flow might feel their hands or face going numb in a steam room or during other activities where their body temperature is raised, such as working out.

Of course, a doctor can help you determine if this is the cause of your experience, and will also recommend if and how you can use a sauna appropriately. 

Outside of potential health concerns, some sauna or steam room users have found they experience numbness when they spend too long in one of these environments. This might simply be because of overuse. You should start out slow in a sauna and listen to your body when it tells you how long you should stay in a sauna

3 Essential Steps to Take Before Stepping Into a Sauna/Steam Room

When you’re able to try the sauna or steam room again, you’ll want to do so safely. Being able to withstand the heat and steam of these environments is typically something you have to do in small steps over time.

Outside of pacing yourself, there are other steps you should take before you step into a sauna or steam room again. 

1. Drink Lots of Water

There is a misconception that excessive sweat is the main reason you experience benefits from a sauna or steam room. While sweat is a natural byproduct of these environments, consistently hydrating yourself while in a sauna or steam room is extremely crucial. Be hydrated before, during, and after by having water with you at all times. 

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2. Eat Well Before and After

How you eat and what you eat before and after going into a sauna or steam room will have an impact on your experience. Under no circumstances should you go into one of these rooms on an empty stomach. This could end up making you sick, cause you to become dizzy, or have a hard time enjoying the experience. 

It’s recommended that you wait at least one hour after eating before entering a steam room or sauna. You want that fuel in your body so it works efficiently while in this heated environment. You should stick with light, healthy meals that aren’t too heavy on your stomach. 

After your sauna session, hydration is your key priority. Eating too soon after you’re finished your session might be hard on your stomach. Wait at least 30 minutes to an hour to eat something, and try to keep it light and healthy as well. 

man and woman inside a sauna
Man wearing a short & woman wearing a swimsuit in a sauna (Image source)

3. Dress Appropriately

Different saunas and steam rooms will have their own rules about what they would like their patrons to wear. Some will allow you to go in the nude with a towel over you, which is safe to do. If you don’t feel comfortable going in naked, you want to be sure you dress smart so you can have a pleasant time. 

Stick with lightweight clothing that is breathable; you don’t want to wear something heavy to force yourself to sweat more. It is also a good idea to stick with looser clothing that is easy to take off when you get out of the sauna. 

A bathing suit is also a great choice. In public spaces, it’s recommended you wear some sandals or slippers so you don’t slip or contract any unsavory bacteria.

Sauna hats are another fantastic invention that is highly recommended during sauna usage. Outside of helping you avoid an overly sweaty scalp, a sauna hat can work in tandem with hydration to prevent you from experiencing dizziness or headaches when in a sauna or steam room. 


While there could be several reasons you’re experiencing numbness in a sauna or steam room, it’s important to recognize that your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong. You should never push yourself too hard in an attempt to experience health benefits from these environments. 

Saunas and steam rooms aren’t for everyone, and you should never continue usage until you speak with a medical professional who tells you how you can indulge in saunas or steam rooms safely. 

(Featured image by Luis Quintero From Unsplash)

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