Do Infrared Sauna Cause Cancer

Do Infrared Sauna Cause Cancer

No. Infrared saunas do not cause cancer. These saunas usually produce between 0.1 and 0.3 W/cm2, which is way lower than the levels of ionizing radiation that can be harmful to humans. Infrared saunas emit non-ionizing far infrared radiation with a wavelength of between 0.1 and 0.3 W/cm2, which is much lower than the ionizing radiation that can cause cancer.

Exposure to infrared heat for roughly 20 minutes to half an hour can benefit overall wellness. 

The recommendation for a new user is to start gradually and build up to a desired temperature and time, keeping it low and brief at first. The suggested temperature is roughly 110 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes to adjust to the heat without becoming overwhelmed. The norm will be 3 sessions weekly for no more than 30 minutes to avoid heat stress.

How Much Radiation Are You Exposed To In An Infrared Sauna?

To assess the impact of infrared radiation in an infrared sauna, we need to understand the typical levels of exposure. Here's a table representing the approximate radiation levels in an infrared sauna:

Infrared Spectrum

Wavelength Range (nm)

Typical Exposure (mW/cm2)

Safety Guidelines

Near Infrared


0.5 - 2

Prolonged exposure may lead to skin irritation or overheating.



0.1 - 0.5

There is a risk of discomfort or dehydration with prolonged exposure.

Far Infrared ( Infrared sauna)


0.05 - 0.2

Lower intensity, but still possible discomfort if overused.


These safety precautions emphasize the risks associated with prolonged exposure to each type of infrared radiation in an infrared sauna. It is critical to follow these instructions to ensure a safe and enjoyable sauna session while reducing the possibility of negative consequences.

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The 5 Common Myths About Infrared Sauna Therapy and Cancer.

There are many misconceptions about infrared sauna therapy and its health benefits. It is important to dispel the myths and learn the facts about this type of natural treatment.

The misconceptions include the following:

Myth 1: Infrared Saunas Can Cause Skin Cancer

Fact: Infrared saunas emit far infrared radiation, a gentle, non-ionizing form of heat radiation. Unlike UV radiation from the sun, which can cause skin damage and lead to skin cancer, far infrared radiation does not damage skin cells or increase the risk of skin cancer. According to studies, infrared sauna heat is safe for the skin and does not result in cancer-causing mutations.

Myth 2: Infrared Saunas Increase the Risk of Internal Cancers

Fact: No scientific evidence supports the claim that infrared saunas increase the risk of internal cancer. The infrared radiation used in these saunas does not penetrate deeply enough to affect internal organs or tissues in a way that could initiate or promote cancer growth. Instead, the gentle heat helps to promote relaxation, muscle recovery, and detoxification through sweating.

Myth 3: Sweating in Infrared Saunas Releases Toxins That Cause Cancer

Fact: While it's true that sweating in an infrared sauna can help to release toxins from the body, there is no evidence that this process releases toxins at levels that could contribute to cancer development. The primary toxins eliminated through sweat are not carcinogenic, and detoxification can support overall health by reducing the body’s toxin load.

Myth 4: The Heat from Infrared Saunas Can Mutate DNA

Fact: The heat from infrared saunas is not intense enough to mutate DNA. The mild, non-ionizing infrared radiation that saunas emit is not typically associated with DNA mutation, which can be a step in cancer development. Rather, it is associated with ionizing radiation (like X-rays and gamma rays) and specific chemical exposures. The heat generated in infrared saunas primarily affects the body's surface, promoting relaxation and improved blood circulation without impacting cellular DNA.

Myth 5: Infrared Saunas Are Uncomfortably Hot

Fact: While regular saunas are hot, between 150°F and 180°F, infrared saunas are meant to warm your body without warming the air around your body. Therefore, the heat in an infrared sauna will only feel as if it is about 120°F. This is much more comfortable for the user, and many sauna users have switched to using the infrared sauna because of its lower temperature.

These myths often stem from a lack of understanding about the differences between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and generalized fears about the effects of heat and sweating. Infrared saunas are widely considered safe and beneficial for most users, offering a range of health benefits without increasing cancer risk.

Does infrared sauna have side effects?

Infrared saunas boast of being exceptionally beneficial with their light and heat therapy; however, similarly to the traditional sauna, the temperatures can induce infrared sauna health risks. That’s particularly true for individuals who are immune-compromised or have preexisting medical conditions. Everyone should consult their medical practitioner before considering sauna therapy.


high temperatures associated with infrared saunas can cause some people to become dehydrated, particularly if they aren’t consuming enough water. While an infrared sauna doesn’t use steam, the body will sweat when it becomes warm. 

As time passes, the water supply will deplete, leading to dehydration, with symptoms including headache, dry throats, and possibly dry skin.


Due to the intensity of the heat emitted by infrared saunas, some people can become lightheaded, which can lead to a mild to moderate headache. However, this risk is reduced when you hydrate sufficiently before the therapy.

Lowered blood pressure

Individuals with cardiovascular issues sometimes experience lowered blood pressure, which causes the cardiovascular system to work harder to pump blood throughout the body as the sauna session progresses. Extensive time in the sauna can exacerbate preexisting low blood pressure.

Dry heat discomfort

The dry heat of the infrared sauna can be uncomfortable for some people as the light penetrates beneath the skin’s surface to warm the deep tissues. The infrared sauna creates a faster warmth than the steam sauna, creating discomfort. This is a reason to limit the time, especially as a new user.

Airway irritation

Airway irritation can occur if dehydration occurs from infrared sauna use, leading to occasional coughing. If the irritation is severe, the session should be cut short.

Despite the potential for infrared saunas to induce some adverse effects, these are typically short-term. The likelihood of long-term effects is virtually nil. Infrared light boasts of being safe with no major issues when responsibly and properly enjoyed by healthy individuals.

Who Can Take Advantage of Infrared Sauna Therapy?

Before using an infrared sauna, it is critical to consult with a medical practitioner for a health assessment to ensure no underlying issues could result in adverse effects. Understanding the precautions and risks allows safe decision-making regarding who should not use saunas. Some individuals must seek medical guidance before proceeding with sessions.

Cardiovascular patients

Those who have experienced heart attack or “severe heart failure, unstable angina, or uncontrolled hypertension” must avoid infrared saunas, considering the effects on blood pressure and subsequent heart behavior. Anyone with high blood pressure or heat-related issues must consult a healthcare provider before using the treatment for optimum sauna safety for heart patients and to avoid possible health risks.


Pregnant women are advised against lengthy sessions to mitigate adverse effects from elevated body temperature. Overheating and the potential for dehydration are discouraged, considering infrared sauna and pregnancy, due to the exceptional risks.

Medication interactions

When taking medications on a routine basis, it’s recommended to consult a doctor to review these for contraindications. Certain drugs could interfere with the sauna’s therapeutic effects. Those with heat-sensitive devices such as pacemakers must avoid infrared sauna use.

Seniors and children

Seniors' and children’s bodies often have more difficulty regulating temperature, particularly in hot environments, making them vulnerable to adverse effects. This group should be well-hydrated, and children should be supervised while in the sauna.

Infrared saunas are safe when used properly and responsibly by healthy individuals. Even if you are in this group, it’s wise to seek medical advice to get a clean bill of health and the okay to proceed with the treatment. 

Anyone with possible preexisting conditions must see their medical provider and will likely be advised against using it or recommended a modified session. Healthy individuals need to pay attention to their bodies. When things seem off, cut the session short, and if symptoms continue, reach out to the doctor.

Infrared saunas, in general, are advantageous for relaxing, feeling rejuvenated, and detoxing.

For more safety tips and to gain more insight into wellness techniques,.

Final Thought

Infrared saunas cannot cause cancer and are generally safe when properly and responsibly used by healthy individuals. That’s not to say there are no potential risks. It’s important to seek guidance from a qualified medical practitioner, particularly those with preexisting health conditions, before taking advantage of the infrared sauna treatment.