Infrared Heat Health Risks

6 Health Risks Associated With Infrared Heat

infrared heat health risks

Infrared heaters have increasingly been adopted in saunas, where panels or ceramic tubes produce infrared heat radiation that heats the skin. To some degree, this is a safer method of heating since it does not produce any UV radiation. That does not mean that infrared heating offers the best option for heating. In fact, it poses its own health dangers, especially in sauna environments where the heat is intense.

infrared heat sauna

Infrared heaters heat up the body by radiating electromagnetic waves, which cause molecules to vibrate and release energy that heats up any object hit by these waves.

Prolonged exposure to infrared radiation comes with potential health risks, and lovers of infrared saunas should be wary of such health hazards.

Below are some of the health risks associated with infrared heating:

1. Burns

skin burn

It is probably the most common health problem associated with infrared heating. The burning of the skin occurs when the top layers of the skin experience excessive heating by the infrared radiation. Though these burns are not of the same nature and magnitude as those caused by UV radiation, they still cause substantial damage to the skin and can worsen over a long time of exposure. However, it is not common for one to stay in an infrared sauna until they experience burns unless they are in an unconscious state.

2. Eye Damage

Eyes are vulnerable to damage by infrared, visible light, and UV radiation upon prolonged exposure. The eyes are particularly sensitive to infrared radiation, whereby far-infrared rays lead to corneal burns and damage. What’s more, even normal exposure times may lead to eye irritation, which is not good for the eyes. However, IR rays need to be incredibly intense for eye damage to occur.

It’s a known fact that IR rays can travel through the skin layer and can penetrate deep into the body. The penetration of the IR waves usually causes vibration at the molecular level which in result generates heat. Because of this heat, the temperature of the liquid inside our eyes increases and it can result in temporary or permanent eyesight damage.

Infrared radiation is not visible to the eye, which makes it impossible for the eyes to take protective measures such as closing or blinking when met with high-intensity infrared rays. In rare cases where the eyes take in too much-infrared radiation, they can experience irreversible and permanent damage. Staying for long durations in infrared heating places such as saunas may therefore not be suitable for your eyes regardless of the age.

3. Water Loss

The occurrence of water loss upon exposure to infrared radiation is almost automatic. Since these radiations have a heating effect on the skin and body, the body begins to sweat once it is exposed the radiations. This is one of the reasons why people use saunas, but it causes the body to lose its water. Without the proper hydration of the body during these sessions, one can quickly get dehydrated since the body loses so much water through sweating.

This condition presents a danger to those whose bodies have a low water content. Whenever you are exposed to these rays, say in a sauna, it is always important to make sure that you replace the lost water by sipping on some cold water to give the body a cooling experience and at the same time restore the lost amount of water when the body is heating up.

4. Blood Pressure

blood pressure check

Primarily, infrared radiation targets the skin. It, therefore, cause increased blood flow to the areas around the skin. This, in turn, causes lower blood pressure in other parts of the body. Therefore, blood may not reach these parts in the right quantity and may deprive them of the necessary resources and components that are supplied by the blood such as oxygen and nutrients. This may cause individuals to experience headaches and faintness.

It gets worse for those with preexisting conditions of the blood, such as the elderly who often have issues with high blood pressure. It may also be worse to those with problems of the circulatory system such as weak blood vessels. Sauna lovers with such health conditions should ensure that they seek expert advice from their doctors to avoid any further damage to the body and its functional systems.

5. Skin Problems

Again, this may take prolonged durations for it to happen, but it is never an impossibility. However, repeated exposure to infrared radiation may lead to less extensive skin problems.

Scientific works have shown that prolonged IR exposure is likely to induce inflammatory cellular infiltration and cutaneous angiogenesis.

Further, it is proven that prolonged exposure also disrupts the dermal extracellular matrix through the induction of matrix metalloproteinases. This changes the dermal structural proteins and may thereby contribute largely to premature skin aging.

6. Overheating Of The Body

Overheating of the body broadly describes the situation where the body undergoes an extremely long duration while being exposed to a heat source; in this case, the infrared radiation. In extreme cases, this could lead to heat exhaustion, which is characterized by heavy sweating and rapid pulses. Mild symptoms of body overheating could include heat cramps while the most severe ones could be heat strokes.

Again, these would take extremely long durations of exposure to infrared radiation, such as when one is unconscious in a sauna. Overheating of the body s also accompanied by faintness, dizziness, a weak pulse, fatigue, nausea, headaches, muscle cramps, and low blood pressure when one finally stands.

Conclusion

IR rays are the most natural source of heat. Every day it radiates from the sun is absorbed by plants, humans, animals and every living being. Infrared radiation is useful as it causes the heating of the body, and is primarily used in saunas where people indulge in sessions to relax. However, these radiations can be harmful to the body, especially with long durations of exposure. Some of the health issues associated with prolonged exposure to IR include eye damage due to irritation, water loss, skin problems, and burns.

Is Infrared Heat Bad For You?

Can Infrared Heat Be Bad For You?

is infrared heat bad for you

If you’re interested in infrared heat, you might have some questions and concerns. A lot of people worry that this type of heat is harmful. Is this actually the case? If this is something that you’re concerned about, you’ll want to make sure you have accurate information so that you can make an informed choice.

Reports Have Revealed That Infrared Heat Does Not Cause Cancer

One of the reasons that many people have concerns about infrared heat is that some reports linked it to cancer. Thankfully, newer research has confirmed that this isn’t the case [1]. Being exposed to infrared radiation is not going to increase your chances of skin cancer.

Cancer is deadly, and it’s smart to do what you can to limit your risks. Thankfully, you don’t have to avoid this type of heat. Study after study has confirmed that exposure to this heat will not cause you to develop cancer in fact IR helps to improve your immunity and helps empowers your body to fight cancer.

According to a journal [2] published by National Institutes of Health, proper “targeted” light therapy can help in reduction of cancerous cells.

According to Medical Oncology – London and many established studies, when the core temperature of a body increases it results in inhabitation of various types of cancerous cells including tongue, lungs, breast, etc. You can read more about the process and the “Hyperthermia” cancer treatment at American Cancer Society [3].

It Can Help You Recover From Muscle Injuries

muscle pain

If you’re dealing with sore and aching muscles, you’re probably hoping to recover as soon as you possibly can. Muscle injuries can be both painful and debilitating. When your muscles are in pain, you won’t always be able to do all the things that are important to you.

Applying IR heat to sore muscles can do a lot to soothe your aches and pains [4]. It can also speed up your recovery process. If you do wind up using a heating source like this one, you’ll feel normal again before you know it!

Infrared Heat Can Help You to Control Your Blood Pressure

Based on a study conducted by German medical researchers, human body builds up resistance towards the cardiac ejection and shows notable reduction in the levels of blood pressure when its exposed to infrared sauna for one hour.

Now the question is, how IR can help to control BP levels?

Recently, a research paper was published by the AMA (American Medical Association) and according to it, when a body is exposed to IRT (infrared heat therapy) it initiates a physiological process which is similar to what a body experiences when it performs an aerobic exercise. This physiological process results in increase in body temperature which helps to control your blood pressure levels [5].

It is a known fact that when the temperature of a body increases, blood vessels dilates. Dilation results in greater blood flow to your muscles which helps to increase your heart rate, cardiac output. The best part is that all these happen in your body without needing you to move a single muscle.

It Can Speed Up Healing Time for Wounds

If you’ve got a nasty wound that is currently healing, infrared heat might be able to shorten the healing process. While a heat source won’t be able to make your wound disappear overnight, it can reduce your total healing time. It can increase blood circulation, which makes it easier for the body to heal wounds as increased blood circulation leads to faster delivery of white blood cells and oxygen.

You should bandage your wound and treat it appropriately, but you should also try applying IR heat to the wound from time to time. IR heat will not help to increase the healing but will also reduce paid and will give your body feels of easiness. Having a wound can be a hassle, but if you can increase the healing process, you’ll have a lot less to worry about.

health recovery after applying infrared heat

It May Be Able To Improve Your Heart Health

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States. It’s important for all adults to work to keep their hearts healthy. Surprisingly, experts have found that infrared heat is one way to improve cardiovascular health.

How can a heat source give you a healthier heart? According to researchers, infrared saunas can lower cholesterol levels and help patients that are suffering from hypertension. You might be able to enjoy the same benefits if you start visiting these saunas.

infrared sauna

There Are Different Ways to Use Infrared Heat

Infrared heat comes in many forms, and the type of heat that you use could have an impact on your results. A sauna is going to expose you to a greater amount of heat than a small in-home heater will.

If this is something you’re genuinely worried about, you’ll want to read studies and other types of research to see what sort of heating they looked into. Don’t assume that all infrared heating is exactly the same.

It’s Smart To Use Infrared Heat Sparingly

It’s clear that infrared heat isn’t bad for you. As a matter of fact, it can provide a lot of impressive benefits. With that said, you won’t necessarily want to use this heat source all the time. If you do decide to take advantage of the perks this type of heating can provide, you’ll want to use heat lamps in a limited fashion.

Have you ever heard the saying “too much of a good thing?” This is definitely something that can apply to infrared heat. You don’t have to avoid it, and you can even benefit from it, but you shouldn’t use it all the time.

Now that you have a better understanding of infrared heat and what it can do for you, you can decide if you’d like to take advantage of this type of heat. A lot of people are extremely impressed when they see just how much this heat source can do to improve their lives.

infrared heat mattress

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3699878/

[2] https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/targeted-light-therapy-destroys-cancer-cells

[3] https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/hyperthermia.html

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4299734/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2718593/

Can Infrared Heat Cause Cancers?

Do Infrared Heat Cause Cancers?

can infrared heat cause cancers?

infrared light

Infrared is technology is applied extensively in our modern world.

We see it in food lamps that keep dinner warm, heating appliances and even TV remote controls in our living rooms. Seeing this pervasive use of infrared can lead to some important questions like “what is infrared light?” and “why is it so useful?”

Once you discover that infrared is actually an electromagnetic RADIATION, the concerns can set in more quickly. If you have been wondering about Infrared technology, its effects on human health and, more specifically, “will Infrared Radiation cause cancer?” you have come to the right spot.

cancer

In the following article we will take a closer look at what infrared really is and how the extensive use of infrared technology may or may not be affecting your health.

What is Infrared Radiation?

A little over 200 years ago, a British scientist named William Herschel was conducting experiments on the different colors of the light spectrum, the colors of the rainbow.

William was surprised to note that warmer temperatures were found at the red end of the rainbow than at the blue end. But, he was even more amazed to find much higher temperatures beyond the range of visible light past the red section of the rainbow, this heat was aptly called “infra-red”.

This warmer temperature was caused by a type of radiant energy that we can feel and experience as warmth but we can’t see. A prime example of this is when you stand in the sun and feel the warmth radiating onto your skin.

Infrared is invisible because its wavelengths, or frequencies, fall far below the visible light spectrum within the entire spectrum of electromagnetic energy. Even within the spectrum of infrared light there are ranges of wavelengths. Those closest to visible light are called “near-infrared” waves. These actually don’t emit any tangible warmth but are still very useful. The small LED at the end of your TV remote emits an infrared signal that can be used to control the device several meters away.

Moving further from the visible ranges, we enter the “far-infrared” frequencies where things begin to heat up. These infrared frequencies are experienced as intense warmth most commonly as the warmth of the sun.

As we will discover in the following section, these far-infrared waves have many applications to human needs.

If you were to continue further along the electromagnetic past the infrared frequencies, you would arrive in the microwave zone where things get even hotter — hot enough to reheat that leftover spaghetti.

What are Household Uses for Infrared Radiation?

Infrared light, or radiation, is a useful source of heat for a wide variety of human purposes.

IR Heat lamps are used in restaurants to keep food delightfully warm without overcooking. Appliances like Toasters, heaters and hair straighteners or curlers also take advantage of this source of moderate heat. Incandescent bulbs only convert about 10% of the energy they use into visible light for nocturnal activities, the rest of the energy they use (90%) is infrared radiation.

Doctors and physiotherapist use infrared devices to improve mobility in recovering patients and a host of other medical applications. Infrared Radiation is also applied to night vision technology used extensively in military, law enforcement and other security services. According to many studies, it has been found that IR can help to “prevent” the growth of certain type of cancerous cells especially breast, tongue, kidney instead of causing it.

With all this infrared radiation being produced by every aspect of our modern civilization, it is only natural to wonder what the side-effects of infrared exposure could be. Read on to learn about the potential side effects of Infrared exposure.

What are the Health Risks of Infrared Exposure?

In response to the rising concern of profuse infrared use in modern societies a special commission was formed to investigate the issue in its entirety. International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection released the findings of their exhaustive investigation in a 2006 statement that can viewed by all at the link provided[1].

According to the experts at ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection [2]), the most prevalent biological side-effects from over exposure to infrared radiation are thermal injuries, in other words burns. The extent and severity of these burns can be mild to severe depending on the wavelength emitted by the infrared light. Furthermore, infrared radiation can cause thermal damage to the skin and sensitive tissues that will not be accompanied by any immediate feelings of pain.

Skin that is continuously exposed to infrared radiation and the heat it produces may additionally suffer scaling, hyper pigmentation or telangiectasia even if the skin tissues are not directly damaged.

Now here is the crux of the issue, infrared radiation WILL NOT in itself cause melanoma or any other form of cancer. However, increasing the skin temperature regularly through infrared heating will diminish the capacity of DNA to repair itself. This can facilitate the spread of cancers that have other causes.

Finally, infrared exposure to the corneas and iris can cause damage to delicate tissues of the eye and possibly result in cataracts.

Potential Health Risks of Infrared Radiation

In the end, infrared technology and its abundant application in our modern society is a relatively harmless thing. The biggest dangers would come from using infrared heating devices to elevate the temperatures of the skin or eye tissues, something most responsible users will avoid. Children should be carefully monitored and kept back at a recommended distance from infrared space heaters etc.

Be sure to read the manufacturers recommendations when using your infrared appliances. If you present any discomforts or skin conditions discontinue use and contact your medical provider for more information.

Verdict

So, can infrared heat cancers and the answer to this question is, NO.

As excessive usage of any medicine can damage your internal organs so as infrared heat. It is always advised to first consult your doctor if you plan to start an IR therapy or if you are planning to purchase an IR bed. Your doctor after thorough examination will be able to tell you if you are fine to use IR or not.

infrared heat mattress

[1] https://www.icnirp.org/cms/upload/publications/ICNIRPinfrared.pdf

[2] https://www.icnirp.org/

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