Saunas and Sunburn: A Risky Combination?

Many people enjoy the relaxing and rejuvenating experience of a sauna. However, if you’ve recently spent time in the sun and have a sunburn, you might be wondering if it’s safe to enter a sauna. This is a valid concern, as both sunburn and saunas involve heat and can affect your skin. In this article, we will explore the potential risks and precautions associated with using a sauna when you have a sunburn.

Understanding Sunburn

Sunburn is a type of skin damage caused by overexposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. It can cause redness, pain, and peeling of the skin. Severe sunburn can also lead to blisters, fever, and fatigue. It’s important to treat sunburn promptly to prevent further damage and discomfort.

Effects of Sauna on Sunburned Skin

While saunas can offer numerous health benefits, such as improved circulation and stress relief, they may not be the best idea if you have a sunburn. The heat from the sauna can intensify the discomfort of a sunburn, potentially leading to increased inflammation and pain. Additionally, the dry heat can further dehydrate your skin, which is already dehydrated from the sunburn, potentially leading to increased peeling and prolonging the healing process.

Precautions to Take

If you have a sunburn, it’s best to avoid the sauna until your skin has fully healed. Here are some precautions to take:

  • Avoid heat: Stay out of the sun and avoid other sources of heat, including saunas and hot tubs, until your sunburn has healed.

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help your body recover and to keep your skin hydrated.

  • Moisturize: Apply a moisturizer or aloe vera gel to your sunburn to soothe your skin and prevent peeling.

  • Seek medical attention: If your sunburn is severe or doesn’t improve after a few days, seek medical attention.


While saunas can be beneficial for your health, they can potentially exacerbate the discomfort and damage caused by a sunburn. Therefore, it’s best to avoid saunas until your sunburn has fully healed. Always remember to protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses, and seek shade during the peak sun hours of the day.