Infrared Sauna Side Effects: What You Need To Know

Uncover the facts about infrared sauna side effects and stay informed. Next Health provides essential insights for a safe and beneficial experience. Read more.

Infrared Sauna Side Effects: What You Need To Know
Next Health Staff
December 6, 2023

More people than ever before have experienced the benefits of infrared sauna therapy. Infrared light saunas are effective, invigorating, and oftentimes superior compared to traditional saunas. That said, just like regular saunas, infrared saunas do carry the risk of some minor side effects.

Not sure what those are or whether they are worth signing up for a new session? Today, let’s explore common infrared saunaside effects. We’ll also explore how you can potentially avoid them — and show how Next Health ensures that each of our clients has a great time in our infrared sauna therapies.

What Is an Infrared Sauna?

An infrared sauna is a sauna that uses infrared light rather than steam or other heating elements. With a traditional infrared sauna, infrared light emitters are carefully positioned around the seating or relaxation area. Then, beams of infrared light bathe the subject.

Because infrared light has a very low wavelength, it’s invisible to the human eye. However, you can certainly feel infrared light when you take a seat in an infrared sauna! That infrared light can easily penetrate the upper layers of the skin to reach muscle tissue and other deeper cells.

As a result, infrared saunas can quickly warm bodily tissues and help induce significant physiological benefits, especially compared to steam saunas.

Are Infrared Saunas Beneficial?

Yes. Infrared saunas can be extremely beneficial for overall wellness and physical and mental health. For example, infrared saunas may:

  • Support greater cardiovascular health. By warming the body, your heart rate increases, stimulating blood flow and providing nutrient-rich blood to the extremities and potential injury sites. Some people believe this may reduce the odds of developing a heart condition or cardiovascular disease.
  • Promote better skin health.Infrared saunas often encourage detoxifying sweats. That sweat can carry toxins or chemicals out of the skin and body, potentially leaving your skin healthier than before. The detox can extend to other areas of the body as well, leading to weight loss, tissue detoxification, and other health benefits.
  • Promote collagen production. Many infrared sauna sessions can support your skin cells ability to make more collagen — a key protein responsible for the elasticity and youthful look of your skin.
  • Lead to pain and inflammation reduction. Infrared sauna sessions can encourage your body to release feel-good endorphins, as well as soothe irritated tissues by warming them directly.

Many of these benefits are thanks to a near-infrared radiation or far-infrared sauna’s unique ability to penetrate directly into the body and stimulate cells and deeper tissues more easily compared to steam saunas.

With a steam sauna, you have to wait for the steam to warm up, and then have to wait for the steam to warm your skin. Eventually, that warmth might penetrate your muscles and deeper tissues, but not always.

In contrast, the infrared type of sauna is better at rapidly increasing your body temperature, as well as reducing the likelihood of overheating.

Infrared Sauna Side Effects

Infrared saunas, and the combination of heat and light therapy, can be very beneficial. But just like regular saunas, those high temperatures may also induce certain side effects, especially in those with pre-existing medical conditions or poor immune system function. Speak with your healthcare provider before trying any sauna.


For example, infrared saunas can lead to dehydration in some people, especially if they are already dehydrated or haven’t consumed enough water beforehand. Although they don’t use steam, infrared saunas still warm up the body and cause it to sweat.

Over time, sauna bathing can deplete the body’s store of water, causing dehydration and associated symptoms like a dry throat, headaches, and so on. It may even lead to skin issues — overly dry skin, for instance, can become cracked, irritated, and more prone to acne.


Similarly, infrared saunas can lead to lightheadedness in some individuals. Partially because of dehydration, the intense warmth of infrared light emitters may cause mild to moderate strength headaches.

Of course, those who hydrate properly before a sauna treatment are at a lower risk of experiencing headaches in the first place.

Low Blood Pressure

Some people experience low blood pressure after one or more infrared sauna sessions. This is sometimes due to cardiovascular issues – a typical infrared sauna session will cause one’s cardiovascular system to increase its efficiency by pumping more blood around the body.

But if a person has a pre-existing low blood pressure condition, that condition could be exacerbated by a lengthy infrared sauna session.

Heat Discomfort

Some people simply find infrared saunas to be a little uncomfortable due to the dry heat. Remember, infrared light penetrates below the skin and warms deeper bodily tissues. Thus, it’s normal to feel warmer, faster, during an infrared sauna compared to a steam sauna.

This effect can be surprising and uncomfortable for some. If the heat becomes too much, you might want to limit the time you spend in an infrared sauna or try to wear a cool towel around your neck in the middle of your session.

Irritated Airways

If one becomes dehydrated from infrared sauna use, they might also experience irritation to their airways. Coughing can occur from time to time. Serious irritation of the airways might indicate that it’s time to cut your infrared sauna session short.

Infrared SaunaSide-Effects Are Short-Term

Even though infrared saunas can induce certain adverse effects, there’s good news: these side effects are almost always short-term in duration. Long-term infrared saunaside effects are practically unheard of.

Infrared light is safe in general, and it should not cause major physiological discomfort when enjoyed properly and responsibly by healthy people.

How To Avoid Infrared SaunaSide Effects

While infrared saunaside effects can occur, those who enjoy these saunas can take several precautions to minimize the possibility.

For example, to avoid infrared saunaside effects, you should:

  • Not consume alcohol prior to visiting the sauna. Alcohol can dehydrate you and make you more susceptible to general dehydration.
  • Not experience an infrared sauna for too long. Generally, sauna sessions should be limited to a half hour or less time.
  • Hydrate before your infrared sauna session begins by drinking a bottle of water.
  • Dressing appropriately for your sauna session, such as by wearing less clothing and exposing as much of your skin as possible.
  • Removing makeup or cosmetics before entering an infrared sauna capsule.
  • Taking a cool shower afterward to get rid of sweat or foreign materials that may remain on the skin.

Essentially, hydrating beforehand and taking steps to avoid dehydration will do a lot to minimize your likelihood of experiencing any of the above side effects.

How Next Health Minimizes Infrared SaunaSide Effects

Next Health offers a unique and highly effective infrared sauna experience. Next Health’s infrared sauna capsules are designed to evenly distribute heat throughout the body by combining near and far infrared lights with jade stones.

Clients lie down in one of these infrared sauna capsules. They’ll then be treated to an invigorating and energizing experience that is about 30% more detoxifying compared to a traditional steam sauna.

Over the course of just a single session, clients may experience benefits such as:

  • Improved collagen production
  • Improved mood and energy levels
  • Reduced stress
  • Improvements to collagen production
  • Higher metabolic functionality

In order to avoid many of the above side effects, Next Health’s infrared sauna sessions take several precautions.

For example, one of our medical experts is always on hand nearby so you can contact someone in the middle of your session, if necessary.

Furthermore, we also limit our infrared sauna sessions to a half hour or less on average. This lowers the likelihood of clients experiencing side effects like dehydration or lightheadedness.

Of course, our clients can always leave their infrared sauna capsules whenever they desire. Water and beverages will electrolytes are always close at hand for immediate rehydration needs.

Still have questions or want to know whether an infrared sauna session at Next Health is right for you? Contact us today and one of our wellness specialists will be happy to account for any concerns you may have.


As you can see, while infrared saunas can induce some minor side effects, they are ultimately affordable and should dissipate in a matter of minutes or hours if you experience them. More importantly, quality infrared sauna experiences — like sessions at Next Health — are less likely to cause these side effects in the first place.

You can enjoy invigorating, relaxing infrared sauna sessions at Next Health starting today. Contact us to sign up for an appointment or to ask further questions.


Infrared Waves | Science Mission Directorate

Far-infrared therapy for cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other chronic health problems: A systematic review | NCBI

Infrared and Skin: Friend or Foe - PMC | NCBI

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