Can I use the steam sauna if I have neurodermatitis?

A stay in the steam sauna can noticeably improve the skin condition of neurodermatitis sufferers. However, those who suffer from very dry skin or neurodermatitis should follow a few rules.
Neurodermatitis patients do not have to do without the steam sauna

Neurodermatitis patients do not have to do without the steam sauna

Patients with neurodermatitis often believe that they should not be allowed in the steam sauna at all. Although neurodermatitis is a visible skin disease, it is not contagious. However, it depends on the condition and the course of the disease whether a visit to the sauna can be recommended by a doctor for patients with neurodermatitis or not.

Atopic eczema, another name for neurodermatitis, is mainly characterized by dry to very dry skin. The affected skin areas also have a lower temperature compared to healthy skin, as well as reduced perspiration. In addition, the superficial blood vessels of the skin are constricted in patients with neurodermatitis. With all these factors, it would seem at first glance that patients with atopic dermatitis should better not visit the sauna.

But the opposite is true, because the heat in the sauna cabin has a regenerative as well as positive effect on the dry, sensitive skin.

Heat on the skin has a healing effect on neurodermatitis

Visiting the sauna dilates the blood vessels and improves blood circulation, which in turn increases the temperature of the skin, and this mechanism is considered very pleasant by most patients with atopic dermatitis. Because the heat of the sauna opens the pores of the skin, perspiration is promoted and thus the skin is gently cleansed. As a result, dead skin flakes and skin cells come off, which can be very beneficial, especially in the case of neurodermatitis. After the visit to the sauna cabin, the detached skin scales are rinsed off under the cold shower.

This process is also mostly perceived as beneficial by patients with atopic dermatitis. The sensitive skin of patients with atopic eczema is particularly sensitive to heat stimuli. Therefore, regular sauna sessions are a recommended sweat training for neurodermatitis patients. Over time, a habituation effect develops, so that the skin reacts directly to the heat stimulus in the steam bath with accelerated sweating. This medical effect of the sauna is particularly pronounced in patients with neurodermatitis and ensures that the superficial skin can regenerate much faster.

Steam bath also recommended as an alternative to the 90° C (194 °F) sauna cabin

It has also been proven that increased sweating in the sauna leads to slight water retention in the horny layer of the skin. Likewise, a desired effect, which can promote the healing with Neurodermitis. The positive effect of a sauna visit for people with neurodermatitis can therefore not be overestimated from a medical point of view.

Nevertheless, affected persons should always first talk to their dermatologist whether a visit to the sauna is basically also a possibility for this skin disease. If the sensitive skin reacts too strongly when visiting a 90° C (194 °F) sauna cabin, a low-temperature sauna such as a bio-sauna, steam bath or sanarium should be visited.

However, sauna infusions are not recommended for patients with neurodermatitis, because essential oils are usually used, which could harm the sensitive skin.

After visiting the sauna, apply a rich cream to the skin

In addition, many patients with neurodermatitis also suffer from a so-called allergic diathesis. The risk of having an allergic reaction to the substances used for a sauna infusion is high. Patients with neurodermatitis should always ask themselves whether a visit to a sauna is currently justifiable or not. If there are many sore skin areas or if there is an acute episode of neurodermatitis, it is better not to visit the sauna.