Is the steam room and sauna good for eczema?
I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews about the goodness of the spa facilities for eczema.
I think that like many other aspects of eczema treatment, it really does depend on each individual and requires each of us to go down the long road full of trial and error to find our own eczema care routines which work for us. I also think the type of eczema may make a difference. For example, dry vs wet eczema. Wet eczema may lead to spread of infections if you sit in a steam room (haven’t tried it though its just a thought!). And it may dry out dry skin even more. All I can give you is my own personal experiences of it and hope that it will help you! I do think though the most important thing is to try it and see how it works for you as an individual! The doctors always recommend many things, but the bottom line is many have never dealt with what we deal with on a personal level and so I think their understanding can only go as far as text books and case studies of individuals yet again. We are all different so always remember that something that doesn’t work for one person may work for another!
At my gym, after I have worked out I started to use the steam room. I shower after my workout so I’m not all sweaty and then sit in the steam room. I guess this whole idea of ridding of toxins is something I have begun to think about when it comes to my eczema so sweating it all out seems like a good idea.
I usually sit in there for about 15 minutes (that is what my gym recommends and as I have just started to use the steam room I didn’t want to over do it!). I have personally not found that the steam irritates my skin, you do get really moist but it doesn’t make me want to itch etc (like others have experiences) so I don’t mind it. Its quite nice too, to workout and then relax in the steam room.
- one thing I take into consideration at the moment though is that my skin isn’t THAT bad. (I’ll try to upload photos later as visual images always helps!). My face has GREATLY improved. For the first time since I can remember, my skin looks mostly normal on my face and for once sine I was 16 my upper lip is eczema free! I now unfortunately get spots instead as my creams are greasy for my dry skin but are giving me acne!! But I’d rather that than my eczema so I can’t complain. I have scars etc but the actual eczema is calmer than it has been for a long time. My neck is still rough and snake like and is the hardest part of my eczema to maintain!! Any little trigger and that is where the eczema flares. My shoulders and elbows are the next worst which seem to come out in a small rash (like mini hives!) which is red and the most itchy!
- Also I have dry eczema right now
Anyway, I have a cold rinse straight after the steam room and then shower as normal. I’m not sure if the steam room has helped or its just the general exercise (I do both so can’t really say!) but its overall effects seems to be good. Physically and definitely mentally! I feel so good after going to the gym.
A week ago, the steam room was closed so instead I used the sauna (I was wary of the sauna as it is dry heat). It is unbelievably hot, that was the first impression I got but I sat in there (and there is a timer for 15 mins which is a great help!). Many people also have a bottle of water or juice outside in case they do feel extremely hot. I found that I was getting hot but not really sweating much and I wasn’t sure whether this would just dry my skin out as there was no moisture barrier. A lady came in shortly after me with her moisturiser and it gave me the idea that maybe I should lather myself in my moisturiser and then sit in there and see the difference. So I got out of the sauna showered off and then applied my coconut oil and went back in. I sat in there for about 10 more mins (until I couldn’t take it anymore!) and then left.
The first thing that shocked me was my face, around my eyes and my cheeks were really red. I was panicking that I had made my skin worse straight away. However, I showered as normal and found that the redness had faded completely (I was relieved!) when I was getting ready. It may have just been that the circulation was boosted and the skin was flushing as a result.
I haven’t tried the sauna since, but next time I go to the gym I will and get back to you about how it was a second time around!
I hope this info has helped. I was quite wary of using them at first, but I think trial and error is really important so I tried them out. So far I seems to be benefiting but perhaps when the winter weather comes (and my eczema is at its worse) I can really see whether they help to keep my eczema at bay as that is my ultimate goal!!