You probably have heard about the dangers of a traditional steam unit, but did you know that IR saunas pose similar threats? There have been many medical studies that can demonstrate the fact that they are responsible for causing overheating, dehydration symptoms and other health concerns, so it’s crucial to understand this new type of technology and learn about the health concerns that it comes with. Although understanding a new type of technology is somewhat difficult at first, it’s useful to know some details concerning the harmful effects so that you can prevent the side effects from happening to you or your loved ones. Here’s what you need to know in regard to this aspect.

Infrared Saunas and Children

Children are highly sensitive and should be protected from extreme changes of temperature such as the ones experienced in using the sauna. However, they are reported to be safer for children than the traditional ones are because the temperatures reached are lower and the level of comfort is significantly higher. To keep kids safe during the session, they must stay hydrated and they shouldn’t exceed 15 or 20 minutes inside it. Also, never leave children alone inside it so that you will be able to keep an eye on them and protect them from heat strokes or dehydration.


Heat-related illnesses should be avoided at all costs, especially if you want to stay healthy for as long as possible. It is important to point out the dangers of overheating your body when you exceed the recommended time for a regular session. An infrared model, whether it is far or near, transfers radiant heat to the user’s body by using light waves. In other words, you are basically generating an artificial fever in your body. The first thing that needs to be considered is the fact that because the radiant waves penetrate your body to a depth of over 1.5 inches, you might, at first, confuse the warmth or slightly hot sensation with overheating symptoms. Overheating mainly occurs only when you spend more time inside it than it’s normally indicated. Experts recommend keeping a thermometer nearby to monitor your temperature. This is a useful tip to keep in mind especially by those who follow several detoxification programs and need to spend up to an hour a day in the sauna.


Dehydration is considered to be another danger so it’s important to learn what are the symptoms related to dehydration in order to prevent it. Dry skin and thirst is something that you may experience from spending more than 30 minutes in a sauna, but if you have other symptoms, such as dizziness, dry mouth, sleepiness or headaches, you are most definitely suffering from dehydration. Therefore, it’s recommended for you to drink plenty of water before entering and after the session is over, and to postpone your sessions until you are feeling better and re-hydrated. It’s very important to avoid drinking sodas or other sugary drinks and most importantly, to avoid drinking alcohol as it can highly increase the risk of dehydration and overheating as well. There’s a high number of health experts who advise users to drink half a cup of water half an hour before the start of the session, and another half a cup of water every 30 minutes until the session is finally over.

Interference with the Absorption of Medications

There are some specific chemicals that we take into our bodies during each day that are quite difficult for our bodies to cope with. The main reason for that consists in the fact that the chemicals are fat soluble and as a result, they are stored in our body fat. The medications stored in our fat can cause some health concerns as you try to eliminate them from your system by sweating them out. The residue of certain medications, such as antidepressants or anesthetics can easily be removed from our bodies during one session. The chemical substances go back into the bloodstream with the main purpose of being eliminated but on their way, they can cause effects similar to the ones felt when taking the medications. For instance, if you have used certain psychedelic drugs in the past, you are most likely to experience the same effects of the drug as it travels through your bloodstream. It is therefore recommended to avoid using the sauna when you have used antidepressants, anesthetics, psychedelic drugs or undergone a chemotherapy treatment in the past.

They can Cause Damage to Silicone Implants

This controversial topic has been debated for a long time and although evidence shows that this type should normally not affect your breast implants, it’s highly important to mention some dangers associated with using it for a long period of time. One potential danger could be the fact that it’s possible for the silicone to melt or deform if it’s made of poor quality or if it comes from an unreliable manufacturer. Although it is generally considered that silicone melts at over 392°, it’s still advised to discuss with your surgeon and manufacturer of the implants to make sure that the silicone implant can withstand high temperatures. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that heat may be responsible for causing a rupture or break in the silicon shell. Although this hasn’t been yet entirely confirmed, manufacturers advise women with breast implants to consult their doctor before using the sauna.

They can Pose a Risk to Chemically-sensitive People

Chemically sensitive people are advised to monitor their sessions or consult their doctor before using the sauna as they are more at risk of contracting an allergy or infection. According to William Rea, MD ““Uncontrolled, too-rapid mobilization can have devastating effects on chemically sensitive patients.”. However, it is important to note that chemically-sensitive people can use it as long as they are under expert supervision.

Thermal Injury Risk

The International Commission on Nonionizing Radiation Protection has stated that infrared radiation can cause a thermal injury heat as a result of the IR light or the wavelength. It is considered that by exposing yourself to prolonged sessions you are at risk of dealing with hyperpigmentation problems. However, skin cancer or other more serious skin problems are not the results of exposure to infrared light. It is therefore indicated to check whether the facility complies with ICNIRP limits so that you avoid thermal injury risks as much as possible.

Electromagnetic Fields / Electromagnetic Radiation risks

Another risk is strictly related to EMF/EMR. In regards to this aspect, there are some important things that shouldn’t be left out of mentioning. Among the electric fields, magnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation, the magnetic fields are the main concerns for infrared saunas and this is due to this particular reason. Magnetic fields are generated whenever an electrical device uses electrical current. The MF levels can reach high levels when they are close to the heating source. High magnetic fields exposure is related to several health risks such as leukemia or cancer but these guidelines are mainly recognized by other countries than the US. To best determine whether your unit emits a high EMF level, consider using a regular electrical to measure the EMF levels. It’s ideal that the EMF levels to not be below 3 milligauss.