Infrared saunas for lupus and autoimmune disease | Clearlight® Saunas (2022)

People with lupus and other autoimmune diseases are often looking for ways to improve their health. This article explores the potential benefits of infrared saunas in helping those living with these diseases manage their health.

Autoimmune diseases and Lupus symptoms

Systemic lupus erythematosus, or Lupus, is an autoimmune disease. "Autoimmune" refers to a health problem in which the immune system assaults one's own cells. There are many forms of Lupus, but to keep it simple: if you've got Lupus, you're probably experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:

  • joint pain and issues, especially in the chest
  • (chronic) inflammation, which is frequently visible on the face
  • low energy, or chronic fatigue
  • ulcers, especially in the mouth
  • abnormal body temperature regulation
  • higher risk for infections
  • poorer circulation
  • cognitive and brain issues

The intensity and frequency of your symptoms, as well as the amount of damage to your joints, can all fluctuate. Because Lupus affects everyone differently, its manifestation varies over time. Females and persons with darker skin are more prone to develop it.

Although its exact cause is unknown, several factors play a role. Both hereditary and environmental components, as well as hormones, all have an impact on the disease's progress, although it may be argued that they are due to external influences, such as exposure to harmful chemicals.

The following are some of the most common risk factors for developing Lupus: family history of autoimmune diseases, viral and bacterial infections, hormonal imbalances, reactivity to the sun, smoking, and low vitamin D levels. Two key strategies for coping with Lupus symptoms include avoiding toxin exposure and limiting your time in the sun.

The immune system of lupus patients attacks his or her own cells, causing a decline in overall health, and in often cases, mental health. However, day-to-day health choices seem to influence whether you acquire the disease and how your symptoms are handled. Choices such as physical activity and a healthy diet.

So how does infrared light therapy, aka infrared saunas work to support lupus sufferers?

Infrared sauna and lupus

Although there is no direct research on infrared saunas and Lupus symptoms, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that infrared therapy can aid with the condition.

(Video) Using the infrared sauna for autoimmune disorders

Let's explore the science of infrared heat therapy and the health benefits many lupus patients could receive from infrared heat.

Infrared saunas help in alleviating skin irritations that may be caused by Lupus

If you have Lupus, the way your skin responds to sunlight may be drastically altered. In reality, up to 70% of people with Lupus have issues with their skin in the form of an itchy rash, inflamed or red skin, or severely scaly skin for example.

For many Lupus sufferers, ultraviolet light - the part of sunlight that can cause sunburns - is a common trigger.

The disadvantage of being triggered by UV light is that it reduces the amount of light you can get from the other parts of the spectrum that come from the sun, such as far infrared energy.

One of the infrared sauna benefits is that you get the absorbtion of infrared light in a very controlled setting. An infrared sauna helps promote healthy skin through the gentle heat promoting oxygen flow to the surface of your skin. With infrared sauna therapy roughness, texture, and skin tone all improve.

With a full-spectrum sauna, you'll also have the radiant heat of near and mid-infrared, that have been shown to boost collagen and elastin in your skin cells.

Inflammation is also decreased in the skin through infrared light treatment, and wound healing improves, according to animal research.

And more is true for red light therapy as one of the complementary therapies that work with a regular infrared sauna use for skin irritations.

(Video) Is an Infrared Sauna good for Arthritis? Far Infrared Sauna for Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment

Infrared heat raises core body temperature and improves circulation

Patients who suffer from autoimmune diseases are often hampered by the fact that not only is their immune system attacking their own immune cells, but these cells need to later repair themselves also.

Because of this, there is less energy available for everyday activities.

Near-infrared light is used in infrared healing to stimulate the production of energy in your cells. This is due to the fact that infrared light exposure improves the efficiency of your "mitochondria," or energy-generating factories, in producing energy.

Lupus isn't the only autoimmune disease that infrared therapy helps in this manner. Lyme disease is another autoimmune disease that both they and lupus patients have compromised energy levels.

Stress is another impactor when it comes to energy levels, and the far infrared heat from a far infrared sauna session provides general pain relief, helps release muscle tension, reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Through this pain relief and relaxation, infrared sauna therapy will relieve stress and allow the body to focus its energy on combating any autoimmune diseases.

Infrared sauna therapy for lower blood pressure and increased white blood cells

(Video) Relax Sauna HELPS Lupus

Many individuals with Lupus have difficulties with peripheral blood flow. Some forms of Lupus are associated with a lack of circulation to the hands, known as "Raynaud's disease."

this can cause the blood flow to your organs to be momentarily restricted while blood pressure drops. Your heart rate increases in order to compensate for the reduction in blood pressure. Blood vessels throughout your limbs, hands, legs, and feet will dilate peri-distally (near the margins of your body).

Infrared sauna therapy widens the blood vessels and with an increased heart rate, pumps more blood around the body, providing more white blood cells to areas. Benefits for lupus include relieving pain, joint pain, and muscle spasms, while also boosting metabolism for added weight loss.

This improved circulation of the blood in your hands can help alleviate Lupus symptoms and even aid in the recovery of Raynaud's Disease if you have it.

Alternative therapies for Lupus

Clinical practice and medical treatment, such as anti-inflammatory medications, are the most common professional medical advice prescribed to autoimmune disease patients.

Some of the medications commonly prescribed include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, help to reduce inflammation.
  • Antimalarial drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, can help to treat the underlying disease process.
  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone, can help to reduce inflammation and control symptoms.

Infrared light Vs. regular sauna

Do traditional saunas offer the same relief as infrared sauna benefits? While your basic sauna therapy won't do the same as your infrared sauna therapy, people with Lupus benefit from both.

Here's why sauna sessions of far infrared or traditional will still benefit sufferers.

(Video) Sauna Session #6 The Most Common Autoimmune Condition That I See.

Sauna therapy raises the core body temperature to help alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain and muscle soreness while increasing heart rate and dilating blood vessels, the same as infrared sauna therapy.

The main difference between an infrared session compared to standard sauna sessions is the added detoxification, skin and mitochondria benefits infrared light therapy provides. Because an infrared sauna primarily works with far infrared as a heating source, the breakdown of waste materials in joints can freely move through body organs. For issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, this adds an additional benefit that a far infrared sauna will provide over a traditional sauna.


Though both infrared and traditional saunas have their benefits, an infrared sauna is often seen as a better option for those with autoimmune diseases like lupus. If you’re considering adding a sauna to your treatment plan, be sure to explore the options and see if an infrared sauna is right for you.

Does Infrared Sauna Therapy Cure Lupus?

Is there any hard science showing a positive connection between infrared sauna usage and curing Lupus outcomes? No.

However, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence - which you may discover by reading my references above - that infrared sauna help, not only benefits for lupus but also other autoimmune diseases, via many different pathways. To summarise, these are:

  • You may use a safe way to expose your body to various types of infrared light.
  • enhanced circulation and energy production at the cellular level
  • reductions in pain, including chronic pain
  • enhanced metabolism for weight loss and supporting healthy lifestyle choices
  • stress reduction, which positively affects many areas of your health

It's impossible to deny the anecdotal evidence for infrared saunas, which clearly shows a role in helping Lupus and other autoimmune diseases. So, even though it may take years, if not decades, for science to catch up, you can anticipate infrared saunas to be beneficial in treating Lupus.

If you're interested in an infrared sauna cabin for home, click here to view our range of full-spectrum saunas, far-infrared saunas, and outdoor saunas.

(Video) "In 8 months I was completely symptom-free" | Wim Hof Method Experience


Is infrared sauna OK for lupus? ›

An infrared sauna is considered safe for individuals with Lupus.

Are saunas good for autoimmune disease? ›

Infrared saunas are great for people with autoimmune disease because they help reduce inflammation and promote detoxification. Infrared saunas are also great for people who are having a hard time exercising due to their illness.

Does infrared sauna lower inflammation? ›

Circulation: Infrared saunas stimulate cardiovascular circulation with oxygen-rich blood flow, producing white blood cells to reduce inflammation and calm swelling to alleviate chronic pain.

Does sauna make inflammation worse? ›

The concentrated heat in a sauna stimulates circulation with oxygen-rich blood flow which helps reduce inflammation and swelling to alleviate chronic pain.

Can lupus patients use red light therapy? ›

There is a potential risk of a lupus flare for the person with lupus who uses light therapy for seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. However, if the person demonstrates no photosensitivity, and the SAD is so severe that various therapies are not working, it could be considered.

Is a dry sauna good for joint pain? ›

Thermal therapy methods, such as dry sauna therapy and Waon therapy, have been used to improve symptoms, promote the metabolism of the body, relieve joint stiffness, and reduce pain in patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

How long do you have to sit in a sauna to detox your body? ›

The amount of time spent in a sauna detox session may vary depending upon your tolerance and daily activity level. To get your body accustomed to infrared therapy, start with 10-15 minute sessions every other day. Gradually increase towards 40 minute daily sessions in the optimal temperature range.

Should I shower after sauna? ›

Relax, recover, refresh

Cooling off after the sauna is important because you can catch a cold if you sweat too much. Sauna-goers should leave enough time to cool down before warming up again. If you can, don't have a shower straight after the sauna. It's better for the body if you cool off in the fresh air first.

Is infrared sauna good for lungs? ›

Sauna bathing has been shown to enhance lung capacity and function, potentially resulting in improved breathing for people with respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis, according to the paper.

Can you get vitamin D from infrared sauna? ›

In addition, many people are vitamin D deficient and don't even know it! Vitamin D is not only a building block in your immune system, but it is essential for bone, teeth, and skin health as well as reducing your risk of cancer! The infrared sauna boosts your Vitamin D levels naturally!

How long does it take to see benefits of infrared sauna? ›

Best of all, the mood-boosting benefits are immediate—Kaps says that you'll start to sweat and feel the benefits within the first 10 minutes or so. Though, if you're aiming to witness a major skin or weight transformation, continued sessions are necessary.

Who should not use a far infrared sauna? ›

Do not use the far infrared sauna without consulting your physician if you are or have: on prescription drugs, fever, sensitive to heat, over age 65, cardiovascular conditions, pacemaker/defibrillator, alcohol/alcohol abuse, joint injury (do not heat 48 hours after injury), hemophiliac/ prone to bleeding, chronic ...

Which is better for arthritis hot tub or sauna? ›

Another benefit of heat therapy found in saunas and hot tubs is the relief of soreness from exertion or pain from arthritis. Most say that a hot tub is better for these purposes because of the weightless effect of the water and the ability to direct the pressure of water jets where they are most needed.

Can infrared sauna burn belly fat? ›

Weight Loss

Studies have shown an infrared sauna session can burn up to 600 calories. As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate. Sunlighten saunas showed a reduction in belly fat in just a 3-month period.

Do LED lights affect lupus? ›

Try LED bulbs. Anecdotally, some people with lupus have reported fewer flares when using the newer Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting; however, there is insufficient research at this time to draw any definitive conclusions.

Does red light therapy reduce inflammation? ›

Natural light therapy & inflammation treatment: Red light therapy alleviates chronic inflammation by increasing blood flow to the damaged tissues, and it's been found in numerous clinical trials to increase the body's antioxidant defenses. Dr.

Does red light therapy cause detox symptoms? ›

Will light therapy treatments cause detox symptoms? If your cells are starved for light, a full Joovv treatment may cause some detox-related symptoms before your body acclimates. If you experience these types of issues, we recommended stopping treatments until the symptoms go away.

What is the healthiest type of sauna? ›


An infrared sauna provides a much milder temperature environment – between 120 to 150 degrees F. Additionally, the light of infrared saunas travels much deeper into the body, meaning they are to cause a more vigorous sweat, despite the lower (and more comfortable) temperature.

Which is better dry sauna or infrared? ›

A few more advantages of infrared saunas over traditional dry saunas are that they are quicker and easier to use – simply plug it in and turn it on – and they emit less heat, which is more comfortable for most people, especially those who do not like the heat and heavy air of the traditional dry sauna.

Do infrared saunas help with arthritis? ›

Infrared sauna therapy can be used to assist people living with a range of degenerative diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause many side effects, including pain, stiffness, fatigue, and joint destruction.

What should I eat after sauna? ›

Eat a Nutritious Meal or Snack

You might crave something salty post sauna session because you lost a good amount of sodium via sweating. Although tempting, don't reach for a bag of chips. Instead opt for foods that are nutrient dense like leafy greens, nuts, bananas or fruits high in water like pineapple or watermelon.

Do saunas remove toxins from the body? ›

From infrared saunas to hot yoga, towel-soaking activities are being touted not only as relaxation tools, but also as ways to stay healthy by flushing out toxins. Too bad you can't sweat away toxins any more than you can sweat actual bullets.

What do you wear in a sauna? ›

Cotton is the perfect cloth for relaxing in the sauna, as it absorbs excess heatwaves and allows the skin to breathe properly. Even if they are cotton, avoid wearing any tight clothes, including underwear. Any bras worn into the sauna should be loose-fitting, breathable, and free of underwires.

Should you eat before infrared sauna? ›

What to eat: in the sauna you should not have a full stomach or empty stomach. The ideal is to eat a light snack before, like a yogurt or fruit. A warm tea of or chamomile drink before the sauna will help you to sweat.

How do you disinfect an infrared sauna? ›

Cleaning an Infrared Sauna is Easy
  1. Periodically, vacuum your home sauna floor and bench areas with a crevice tool to remove hair and dirt.
  2. Use a diluted solution of white vinegar and water on a damp cloth or sponge to wipe sweaty areas like seat and backrests. ( ...
  3. Then wipe down again with a clean damp sponge/ cloth.

How do I get the most benefits from an infrared sauna? ›

8 Tips to Get the Most Out of an Infrared Sauna Session
  1. Lay off the booze. Drinking before a visit is always a no-no. ...
  2. Drink water, instead! ...
  3. Sit up straight. ...
  4. Feel the rainbow. ...
  5. Embrace the phone ban. ...
  6. Make time for cool-down. ...
  7. Wear loose-fitting clothing after. ...
  8. Schedule your sessions based on your needs.

Is the sauna good for your heart? ›

It has been postulated that regular sauna bathing may improve cardiovascular function via improved endothelium-dependent dilatation, reduced arterial stiffness, modulation of the autonomic nervous system, beneficial changes in circulating lipid profiles, and lowering of systemic blood pressure.

Are saunas good for your brain? ›

It found that compared with men who used a sauna once a week, those who used a sauna four to seven times a week had a 66 percent lower risk for dementia and a 65 percent lower risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Can I put essential oils in my sauna? ›

How to use essential oils in the sauna. Before using the oil, it must be diluted in water. The most common method is to add a few drops of essential oil to the water bucket in the sauna. When you then pour the water over the hot stones, the steam will give a pleasant scent.

How do I protect my hair in an infrared sauna? ›

How Do I Protect My Hair In An Infrared Sauna?
  1. Rinsing/washing your hair after your sauna session.
  2. Using a treatment or conditioning product pre or post-session.
  3. Ensuring you stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after your sessions.
  4. Massaging your scalp (which can also stimulate hair growth)
28 Apr 2021

Can Covid live in a sauna? ›

The temperatures achieved within a sauna are well within the range required for pathogen control and often exceed temperatures of 60°C for 30 min, 65°C for 15 min or 80°C for 1 min, which have been shown to reduce coronavirus infectivity by at least 4 log10 ( Kampf et al., 2020).

Is infrared sauna good for immune system? ›

The use of an infrared sauna strengthens your immune system by increasing white blood cell production, triggering the immune system, releasing impurities, improving blood circulation, regenerating cells, and promoting relaxation. With a strong defense system, you are free to enjoy life in full health.

Why am I so tired after infrared sauna? ›

Sauna use can make you feel tired because your body works very hard to maintain homeostasis in a hot environment. Your body is attempting to regulate its temperature by sweating. This can dehydrate you causing you to be tired after a long sauna session.

Why am I not sweating in infrared sauna? ›

If you find that you are not sweating after a few minutes in an infrared sauna, try turning up the heat. Most infrared saunas have a temperature control so you can easily adjust the heat to your liking. Another reason why people may not sweat during infrared sauna sessions is because they are not drinking enough water.

Does infrared sauna age skin? ›

Using a near infrared sauna or a full spectrum infrared sauna (which also outputs near infrared) can cause cataracts, accelerated aging of the skin, and an increased risk of skin cancer.

What should I do before and after an infrared sauna? ›

Remember To Hydrate.

Drink plenty of water or other healthy beverages before, during, and after your infrared sauna. Also, never drink alcohol during a sauna. Aside from potentially causing slips and falls, the combination of alcohol and sauna heat can mess with your heart's rhythms.

What is best temperature for infrared sauna? ›

Setting the right temperature for the infrared sauna

Generally, a healthy temperature range for using the infrared sauna is between 110-130 degrees Fahrenheit. Always take your overall health into consideration when using your infrared sauna and get out if you start to feel discomfort or overheating.

How many times a week should you infrared sauna? ›

Most facilities that offer infrared sauna treatments recommend using the sauna three to four days per week. If you are healthy and tolerate the four days, you can use the sauna daily.

Who should avoid saunas? ›

Contraindications to sauna bathing include unstable angina pectoris, recent myocardial infarction, and severe aortic stenosis. Sauna bathing is safe, however, for most people with coronary heart disease with stable angina pectoris or old myocardial infarction.

Who Cannot use a sauna? ›

People should drink about two to four glasses of water after using a sauna. Avoid sauna use if ill: People who are ill should also wait until they recover before using a sauna. Women who are pregnant or those with certain medical conditions, such as low blood pressure, should ask their doctor before sauna use.

Do you need goggles for infrared sauna? ›

It is so well accepted that near infrared is damaging to the eyes, that near infrared protective glasses are sold for use in near infrared saunas. If you own a near infrared sauna, and it is not a possibility for you to replace it at this time, it would be prudent to wear eye protection while in your sauna.

Should you sauna or hot tub first? ›

Since a hot tub always needs to be perfectly clean when used, and the sauna helps you sweat and clean dirt trapped in your skin pores, it is advisable to use a sauna before using a hot tub.

Is sitting in a hot tub the same as a sauna? ›

The most obvious differences between a hot tub vs sauna are that one requires heat and dry air, while the other functions using water, steam, and humidity. A hot tub has massaging capabilities, low-impact exercise options, and hydrotherapy, whereas a sauna only offers heat.

Is steam room better than sauna? ›

The big difference is in the type of heat that they provide. A sauna uses dry heat, usually from hot rocks or a closed stove. Steam rooms are heated by a generator filled with boiling water. While a sauna may help relax and loosen your muscles, it won't have the same health benefits of a steam room.

How many calories does a 40 minute infrared sauna burn? ›

Infrared Saunas have been proven to burn between 300-600 calories in a 40 minutes Far Infrared Sauna session. That's the equivalent of a 2-3 mile run, based on your BMI (Body Mass Index).

How long does it take to lose 2 pounds in a sauna? ›

How long to sit in sauna to lose weight? About 15-20 minutes in sauna will give you good results. How much water weight can you lose in a sauna? You can lose about 2 pounds of water weight in sauna.

How many calories do you burn in an infrared sauna for 30 minutes? ›

One infrared sauna session, lasting around 30 minutes with the temperature ranging from 120 to 150 degrees, can help someone burn up to 600 calories according to JNH Lifestyles. A pound is around 3,500 calories, so that is almost 20 percent of a pound in one session. Here are a few other ways you can burn 600 calories.

Can infrared sauna cause rash? ›

Clean skin ensures that you are not letting any toxins in while you are sweating toxins out. Bare skin is recommended for sauna use, as some ingredients in lotions/creams can react with the heat, causing a rash or burn.

What are infrared saunas? ›

An infrared sauna is a type of sauna that uses light to make heat. This type of sauna is sometimes called a far-infrared sauna. "Far" describes where the infrared waves fall on the light spectrum. A regular sauna uses heat to warm the air, which in turn warms your body.

Who Cannot use an infrared sauna? ›

If you have an insensitivity to heat, have a fever, have a condition that inhibits your ability to sweat or have a pacemaker or defibrillator - we don't recommend using an infrared sauna.

Who should not do infrared sauna? ›

Do not use the far infrared sauna without consulting your physician if you are or have: on prescription drugs, fever, sensitive to heat, over age 65, cardiovascular conditions, pacemaker/defibrillator, alcohol/alcohol abuse, joint injury (do not heat 48 hours after injury), hemophiliac/ prone to bleeding, chronic ...

Who should avoid saunas? ›

Contraindications to sauna bathing include unstable angina pectoris, recent myocardial infarction, and severe aortic stenosis. Sauna bathing is safe, however, for most people with coronary heart disease with stable angina pectoris or old myocardial infarction.

Should you shower after infrared sauna? ›

However, we do recommend that you should shower after an infrared sauna too. Because you sweat during your session and toxins are released, having a shower after your sauna will help to cleanse the skin and close pores.

What should I eat after an infrared sauna? ›

Food: What do you eat after a sauna?
  • Pretzels – little sodium replenishment and no oily fats.
  • Cheese – dairy protein jives much better at night than meat protein.
  • Fruit – natural vitamins and fiber via Granny Smith apples or any fresh fruit.
3 Jun 2009

What do you wear in an infrared sauna? ›

We suggest wearing clean, loose clothing (cotton or any breathable material preferably) or your bathers but you may choose to wear a towel or no clothes at all if that's your thing! The benefit of having your very own sauna in your home means you have the privacy to enjoy your sauna exactly the way you want to.


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