Is the Steam Room Good for Your Skin?
Skin care is a multi billion dollar business. Cleaning and caring for the skin usually starts to become an obsession in the teenage years and can carry on throughout our entire lives. Things such as nutrition, cleanliness and protection from the elements are usually cited as the best way to take care of the skin. But what about steam therapy? Is the steam room good for the skin? It’s been found that spending time in a steam room can provide several different benefits for the whole body, not just the skin. In this article we’ll go over the many ways in which using a steam room can improve your health.
One of the main goals of spending time in a steam room is to work up a sweat. And when the body sweats, the pores of the skin are opened up. This opening of the pores allows trapped dirt and impurities to be released and washed away by the steam. The high temperatures and humidity levels caused by the steam can also improve the skin’s condition by increasing blood flow to the skin surface. This bathes the tissues in oxygen and nutrients. For those who suffer from dry skin the steam can increase moisture levels and aid in hydration. If acne is a problem, heat and humidity can help cleanse the pores while calming overactive sebaceous glands that are often associated with acne.
The heat and humidity in a steam room will increase the internal body temperature. This leads to stronger heart palpitations, increased blood flow, dilated blood vessels and reduced blood pressure. These effects on blood circulation not only help the skin, but can help a wide range of body parts and organs. The increased circulation of oxygen and nutrients in the bloodstream aids healing and repair processes throughout the body.
Hydration Of The Mucous Membranes
Mucous membranes in and around the eyes, nose and throat can benefit from the hydrating capacity of steam. If you’re suffering from a cold, allergies or sinus problems or are experiencing dryness of the eyes or nasal passages, spending time in a steam room can provide temporary relief. The moisturizing effects of steam can help hydrate dry mucous membranes, open up passageways and reduce inflammation.
As the internal body temperature gradually increases, the body is able to relax. Muscle tension is reduced, spasms and contractions are diminished and the production of stress hormones is decreased. The body and mind are allowed to relax and the overall feeling of stress is reduced. Stress can have a negative effect on many parts of the body, including the skin. Stress constricts blood vessels which reduces blood flow at the skin’s surface. This can exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. By using the steam room as a means to provide stress relief, your entire body benefits.
If you suffer from mobility issues due to injury or disease, spending time in a steam room can loosen up tight joints, muscles and tendons. People who suffer from degenerative diseases such as arthritis have found that the high temperatures can decrease pain and increase range of motion. Even those who do not suffer from mobility issues can find that spending time in a steam room can increase flexibility. This can also make spending time in a steam room an important part of a workout warm up program.
Temporary Weight Loss
Although any weight loss created by spending time in a steam room is usually associated with dehydration, it’s a method often used by professional athletes looking to attain a specific weight level necessary for competition. This is not recommended for the average person as a way to reduce weight. However, there is evidence that exercising in a steam room can cause dehydration, reduce fluid levels in the body and temporarily decrease body weight.
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